Online social media has now become increasingly popular as on an average more than 50% of the people across the world use social media that including around 400 million new users. The Growing Internet Connectivity Has Opened Up Several Opportunities For Communities Regardless Of The Boundaries Of The World Social Media Has Enabled People To Become Connected socially with their friends, and families, make connections with people, career enhancement and even companies are now using social media for marketing campaigns. However, it has been observed that with this growing number of social media platforms usage, young generations are mostly involved in deploying their valuable time on accessing different media contents on social media platforms. Studies have addressed that employing too much time on social media adversely impacts the mental health of young people globally.
The major aim of this paper is on evaluating the social media usage and its impact among young people and on their psychological wellbeing. Therefore, this study is aiming to collect various related literature and provide a critical analysis of the social media and its influence on young adults related to the mental stability. Most young people and children nowadays spend time on social media for fun, making or maintaining friendships, exploring identities, sharing interests, and even playing games. With too much use of social media, young people become more addicted to it makes them distracted from studying or other physical activities, exposing them to bullying, developing unrealistic views, being vulnerable to data breaches, and disrupting sleep.
The study, therefore, is aiming to address social media having several impacts on young people, and the rationale of this paper is to outline the outcomes of this paper that will allow to make positive assumptions showing the adverse impacts and to make recommendations on reducing the possible way of mitigating risks. The following paper is going to formulate a hypothesis and find whether this hypothesis is aligned with the literature or states any other positive aspects of social media usage on the psychological status of young people. Lastly, the study will also address the limitation and further research scope of this paper.
This part of the study is going to review various literature towards analyzing the several types of impacts on young people's mental-hygiene because of social media.
According to Keles, McCrae & Grealish, 2019, four key factors directly impact the mental health of adolescents that includes time spent, activity, addiction, and investment. Methods followed in this study used systematic review and meta-analysis on 13 selected papers collected by using the database Mendeley. The study shows that Insomnia and various other sleep disorders were the most common effects of using social media due to depressed mood. The paper also suggested that factors such as the socio-cultural aspect influences the use of social media by adolescents within society and family. Additionally, environmental factors like motivation in using social media, self-esteem, lack of physical activities, and social comparison are the factors that make young people towards spending too much time on social media. These factors influence symptoms of depression, psycho, logical distance, and anxiety (Keles, McCrae & Grealish, 2019). The paper stated that depression and addiction to social media influence sleep disorders or insomnia among adolescents. However, the limitations of this paper are due to a lack of data collection, and also the paper does not show any correlations between mental health and the frequency, and time dedicated on social media.
Impact of social media influencing psychological distance, depression and anxiety among adolescents
Figure 1: Perceptions among teenagers of social media usage
(Source: Anderson & Jiang, 2018)
According to Anderson & Jiang, 2018 states that Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram are currently the most used social media platforms among young people. The paper shows that around 95% of teenagers are having access to smartphones while around 45% of young people stay online almost constantly. The study has reviewed various survey literature and the data shows that teenagers have mixed views of social media effects from the data, it can be seen that around 17% of respondents feel that due to social media platforms usage results in a lack of human interactions and distorts the reality that offers teens unrealistic views regarding people's life because of spending too much time handling social networking sites (Anderson & Jiang, 2018). Not only that, it creates the addiction to social media platforms creates huge distractions to studies among teenagers who are students.
According to Dhir et al., 2018 online social media put a huge impact on the psychological well-being of young adults influencing fear of missing out, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. In order to evaluate the impact, the study has performed a repeated cross-sectional method on two waves of data. The result of this study represents that increasing usage of social media platforms on daily basis triggers fatigue of social media that later impacts the psychological status of young adults as it elevates depression and anxiety. The study has used IBM AMOS and IBM SPSS for analyzing data. However, in another study by Greenhow & Chapman, 2020 in the period of covid-19 pandemic, several social media platforms have been used as an active learning platform, for civic participation, and community building. Therefore, it can be understood that with the proper motive of using social media, the impact on young people can be managed properly (Greenhow & Chapman, 2020).
According to Hardy & Castonguay, 2018 usage frequency of social media is having significant impact on the psychological status or health of adolescents. The paper discussed that one of the potential triggers influencing mental tensity is because of different social networking platforms or applications namely Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. In this paper, 2016 General Society Survey data has been used in finding the correlations between usage of social media putting influences on adolescents results in mental breakdown. The paper highlights that SNS has potential benefits for young adults in dealing with other stress factors. Providing feedback and sharing an opinion through social media about any brand or product make me feel important. Additionally, the study also outlines that social media helps to be connected with social sites related to innovative technologies and good environmental initiatives and pages.
According to O’Reilly et al. 2018, social media may have effects on the mental stability of adolescents. This study has performed a thematic analysis where the themes are related to influencing anxiety and mood disorders, social media as a platform for cyberbullying, and addiction on social media (Viner et al. 2019). The study outlines that, many young people use social media sites namely Twitter and Facebook to escape from various external pressure on their mental health. The study highlights that adolescents in various countries including low, medium, and high-income structures, various communication technologies including social media in managing a social life, culture, and education (O’Reilly et al. 2018). However, the study also mentioned that the increasing addiction time dedicated to social media platforms seemingly reduces social isolation, face-to-face contact, sleep deprivation, stress, and depression (Coyne et al. 2020).
Teens, Technology, and Social Media
Figure 2: Relationship between Social media usage and Depression
(Source: Coyne et al. 2020)
Although, depression through social media usage is completely dependent on the purpose of usage and personal intent. Another study by Abaido, 2020 outlines that with higher number of social media users, the chances of young people being involved in cyberbullying increases. This paper highlights that with higher the time dedication on social media, youth become more vulnerable to cyberbullying due to a lack of technological knowledge, losing temperament or proneness towards engaging in destructive conflicts (Webster, Dunne and Hunter 2021). This study stated that, young people in high schools and middle schools as well as university students in UAE. The survey performed in this study results that around 91% of the participants agreed with the presence of cyberbullying or online harassment on social media (O’Reilly et al. 2018).
This study has discussed various aspects of social media platforms as well as their impact on youth or adolescents. However, certain areas may not have been highlighted due to some constraints. Therefore, this part of the study is focused on discussing the limitation areas of this paper which have either been presented through brief information or neglected because of the complexity of the research area. As this study presents a secondary analysis of various pieces of literature that are bounded by questions based on the available data. Along with that, the user works of literature for this study involve some level of bias-based specific on the country, region, or particular social media platform (Schønning et al. 2020). Another limitation of this studies that do not utilize the Triangulation method by involving multiple datasets or theories to investigate the impact on the young people’s psychological health (McCrory, Best and Maddock 2020). For this reason, it becomes so complex to discuss the impact without any bias. Some of the studies also show the positive and negative impact of social media but are unable to give any calculated data or assumptions about a specific outcome. The findings of the study are also unable to identify the level of impact on mental health through reviewing the literature as is much more complicated to present the level of disturbances and mental health-related measures due to social media among people and these studies also do not involve any prior mental illness of the people (Bekalu, McCloud and Viswanath, 2019).
In order to improve the significance of this study and create a more concentrated evaluation of the mental health factors affected by using social networking platforms more pieces of literature can be reviewed. Reviewing more works of literature will allow developing more insight into the subject area and making a comparative study on the creative and destructive impacts of social networks among adolescents can be evaluated. Additionally involving the primary survey method and quantitative data analysis may also give specific data concerning the participants. However, this method is out of the scope in this case.
Social media nowadays is a popular communication and informative platform, young people are the significant users of social media platforms. The study through the entire discussion section outlines the consequences of excessive social media usage and their influences on psychological health and well-being of adolescents. Several kinds of literature have been reviewed in this study to understand the various impacts on the psychological status of young people. The studies have evaluated that social media fatigue influences extensive time dedicated on social media and adversely impacts the mental status and the behavioral condition of adolescents. The study also observed from the review that extensive fatigue from social media usage among young people leads to anxiety, depression, and often sleeping disorder.
Social media affecting mental stability
The empirical evidence in this paper highlights both the creative and destructive impacts on the adolescents’ people psychological wellbeing or health. Many of the young generations use social media for learning and communication-building purposes. Empirical evidence in this study highlights those social media platforms also are used by young people for escaping from boredom, learning new innovative ideas, and technologies, getting news, giving a social response, and communicating with friends and families. Hence, it can be understood that social media platforms have both positive and negative impacts on mental well-being due to various features and contents. However, determining the impact is completely depends upon the youth's behavior towards using social media and the overall time deployed on accessing social media platforms. This study also shows the chances of cyberbullying due to using social media with a lack of knowledge and approach.
Hence, the study can be concluded that regardless of the negative mental impact of social media platforms on young people several positive impacts can be achieved by using social media. Although, extensive time dedicated on social media can influence several mental disruptions such as anxiety, poor mental condition, and sleeping disorder on the young people or adolescents.
Anderson, M. and Jiang, J., 2018. Teens, social media & technology 2018. Pew Research Center, 31(2018), pp.1673-1689.
Bekalu, M.A., McCloud, R.F. and Viswanath, K., 2019. Association of social media use with social well-being, positive mental health, and self-rated health: disentangling routine use from emotional connection to use. Health Education & Behavior, 46(2_suppl), pp.69S-80S.
Coyne, S.M., Rogers, A.A., Zurcher, J.D., Stockdale, L. and Booth, M., 2020. Does time spent using social media impact mental health?: An eight year longitudinal study. Computers in Human Behavior, 104, p.106160.
Dhir, A., Yossatorn, Y., Kaur, P. and Chen, S., 2018. Online social media fatigue and psychological wellbeing—A study of compulsive use, fear of missing out, fatigue, anxiety and depression. International Journal of Information Management, 40, pp.141-152.
Greenhow, C. and Chapman, A., 2020. Social distancing meet social media: digital tools for connecting students, teachers, and citizens in an emergency. Information and Learning Sciences.
Hardy, B.W. and Castonguay, J., 2018. The moderating role of age in the relationship between social media use and mental well-being: An analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey. Computers in Human Behavior, 85, pp.282-290.
Keles, B., McCrae, N. and Grealish, A., 2020. A systematic review: the influence of social media on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), pp.79-93.
McCrory, A., Best, P. and Maddock, A., 2020. The relationship between highly visual social media and young people’s mental health: A scoping review. Children and Youth Services Review, 115, p.105053.
O’Reilly, M., Dogra, N., Whiteman, N., Hughes, J., Eruyar, S. and Reilly, P., 2018. Is social media bad for mental health and wellbeing? Exploring the perspectives of adolescents. Clinical child psychology and psychiatry, 23(4), pp.601-613.
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Schønning, V., Hjetland, G.J., Aarø, L.E. and Skogen, J.C., 2020. Social media use and mental health and well-being among adolescents–a scoping review. Frontiers in psychology, p.1949.
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Skogen, J.C., Hjetland, G.J., Bøe, T., Hella, R.T. and Knudsen, A.K., 2021. Through the looking glass of social media. Focus on self-presentation and association with mental health and quality of life. A cross-sectional survey-based study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(6), p.3319.
Viner, R.M., Gireesh, A., Stiglic, N., Hudson, L.D., Goddings, A.L., Ward, J.L. and Nicholls, D.E., 2019. Roles of cyberbullying, sleep, and physical activity in mediating the effects of social media use on mental health and wellbeing among young people in England: a secondary analysis of longitudinal data. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 3(10), pp.685-696.
Webster, D., Dunne, L. and Hunter, R., 2021. Association between social networks and subjective well-being in adolescents: A systematic review. Youth & Society, 53(2), pp.175-210.
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