Posted by & filed under Adult Development and Aging, Anxiety OC PTSD, Emerging Adulthood, Health Psychology, Motivation-Emotion, Research Methods, Stress Coping - Health.

Description: I have posted previously on research related to the question of the impacts of social media and smartphone use on adolescent and emerging adult wellbeing. While some of the findings seem quite dire and while there is no debate about the increasing levels of anxiety and stress among emerging adults in recent years the rush to blame it all on social media use has been rather quick and likely somewhat precipitous. I have previously suggested that we need to step back a bit and taker a broader view of the impacts (negative AND, perhaps, positive) of social media use. The review article linked below is, at least, one step in this desired direction. Give it a read and see what you think and think a bit, while reading it, of what other research we should consider doing.

Source: Abi-Jaoude, E., Naylor, K. T., & Pignatiello, A. (2020). Smartphones, social media use and youth mental health. CMAJ, 192(6), E136-E141.

Date: February 10, 2020

Photo Credit:  Pixelkult from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, what do you think? Some good, quite a bit of Bad and a lot of variability in the middle. I think the closing paragraph is nicely crafted, stating that emerging adults today are broadly connected through social media and much of that can be good but as with so many things we are still discovering what the limits perhaps should be and how individuals can figure out what their personal practices with social media should involve. More research and, most importantly, more self-refection is certainly needed and should be encouraged.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Is social media use good or bad in terms pf mental wellbeing? And if “it depends”, what does it depend upon?
  2. What areas of social media use would benefit from further research?
  3. What sorts of studies might we do if we are interested in figuring out if there are any benefits of social media use?

References (Read Further):

Anderson, M., & Jiang, J. (2018). Teens, social media & technology 2018. Pew Research Center, 31, 2018.

Naslund, J. A., Aschbrenner, K. A., & Bartels, S. J. (2016). How people with serious mental illness use smartphones, mobile apps, and social media. Psychiatric rehabilitation journal, 39(4), 364.

Chen, H. T., & Li, X. (2017). The contribution of mobile social media to social capital and psychological well-being: Examining the role of communicative use, friending and self-disclosure. Computers in Human Behavior, 75, 958-965. Link

Jacobsen, W. C., & Forste, R. (2011). The wired generation: Academic and social outcomes of electronic media use among university students. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(5), 275-280.

Leist, A. K. (2013). Social media use of older adults: a mini-review. Gerontology, 59(4), 378-384.