A survey study analysing a young adult’s (18-24) knowledge and viewpoints on how social media impacts mental health
Keywords:social media, mental health, depressive symptoms, poor body image, lowered self-esteem, anxiety, connectivity, social security, loneliness, self-confidence, young adults, social media addiction
A variety of studies have presented mixed opinions on social media’s impact on mental health. Depressive symptoms, poor body image, lowered self-esteem and anxiety have been linked to social media and excessive use, which are of public health concern. On the other hand, social media has been linked with aiding depressive symptoms by increasing connectivity, social security, loneliness and confidence. The aim of this research was to explore the knowledge and understanding of young adults (18- 24 years old), to explore awareness on the positive versus negative health impacts of social media and mental health. This study used a quantitative approach using JISC Online Surveys and gathered 50 respondents in the United Kingdom (UK) to analyse awareness and state of mental health. Research has shown that the population has awareness on the associations between social media and poor mental health. The population felt that social media increases connectivity with others but felt social media was addictive and can lower self-confidence. Most of the population answered questions regarding their state of mental health, suggesting that state of mental health was positive, with few reporting negative feelings. The population understood the importance of managing time spent on social media for mental health, however, some reported ‘withdrawal’ symptoms when not using social media platforms, which is linked to social media addiction.
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