Digital Well-Being Index – Year Two

February 2024

At Snap, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our Snapchat community.  We have in place, and consistently enforce, policies and rules that detail the type of content and behavior that are acceptable on Snapchat. We offer tools and resources to help Snapchatters stay safe, and we engage with others in industry and across sectors to better protect teens and younger users in particular. 

To offer insight into how teens and young adults are faring online, in 2022, we launched research into Generation Z’s digital well-being. Now, for two years running, we’ve surveyed teens (aged 13-17), young adults (aged 18-24) and parents of teens, aged 13 to 19 in six countries: Australia, France, Germany, India, UK and the US. The study produces a Digital Well-Being Index (DWBI): a measure of Gen Z’s online psychological well-being. 

DWBI readings for 2023

The second Digital Well-Being Index for the six geographies again stands at 62, a somewhat average reading on a scale of 0 to 100 – neither particularly favorable, nor especially worrisome.  By country, India registered the highest DWBI reading at 67, down one point from 68 in Year One.  Australia, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. all registered identical readings to 2022 at 63, 60, 62, and 64, respectively. France also dipped one percentage point to 59 from 60 in 2022. 

The index leverages the PERNA model, a variation on an existing research vehicle, comprising 20 sentiment statements across five categories: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Negative Emotion and Achievement. Respondents were asked to state their level of agreement with each of the 20 statements, taking into account all of their online experiences on any device or online application (not just Snapchat) over the preceding three months.  (The research was conducted from April 28 to May 23, 2023.)  To review all 20 DWBI sentiment statements, see this link.

The parent/teen dynamic in 2023 

A DWBI score was calculated for each respondent based on the 20 sentiment statements. Their scores were aggregated into four DWBI groups: Flourishing (10%, unchanged from Year One); Thriving (41%, down 2 percentage point from 43% in 2022), Middling (42%, up 2 percentage points from 40% in Year One) and Struggling (7%, also unchanged from 2022). (See, Below for details.)

In 2023, parents’ trust in their teens to act responsibly online fell, with only four in 10 (43%) agreeing with the statement, “I trust my child to act responsibly online and don't feel the need to actively monitor them.” This is down six percentage points from 49% in Year One’s study. In addition, fewer minor-aged teenagers (13-to-17-year-olds) said they were likely to seek help from a parent or trusted adult after they experienced an online risk, a drop of five percentage points to 59% from 64% in 2022. 

Parents underestimated their teen's exposure to intimate or suggestive imagery by 11 percentage points – a question that was added in this latest study. Parents’ ability to gauge teens’ overall online risk exposure also slipped. In 2022, the difference between teens’ reported digital risk exposure and parents’ accuracy in gauging it, was two percentage points. Last year, that delta widened to three percentage points. 

Other key results

Our digital well-being research yielded other interesting findings.  Below are some highlights.  The full report can be viewed here.

  • 78% of Gen Z teens and young adults said they experienced some online risk in early 2023, up two percentage points from 76% in 2022.

  • 57% of Gen Z respondents said they or a friend were involved with intimate or sexual imagery in the prior three months, either receiving it (48%), being asked for it of themselves (44%), or sharing or distributing photos or videos of someone else (23%). Moreover, 33% of respondents said this imagery spread beyond the intended recipient. 

  • Half (50%) of parents said they were unsure about the best ways to actively monitor their teen’s online activities.  

Please find additional, country- and language-specific resources on our Digital Well-Being Index below: 

Global DWBI Deck

Global DWBI Summary

Country-Specific DWBI Infographics

DWBI Archive