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Is Social Media Bad for You? Evidence and Unknown

Social media has taken a notable position in people’s lives, although society has conflicting opinions on its effects in the long term. In her report on BBC, Jessica Brown (2018) presents considerable studies on how the most popular social media platforms affect the modern population. The purpose of Brown’s article is to explore the consequences of social media use on people’s mental health and well-being through scientific research.

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The article provides substantial information and discusses several noteworthy points. Firstly, social media usage offers various possibilities and is quite associated with mental pressure. For instance, Twitter can contribute to increased stress and act as a coping mechanism, especially for women, whereas men seem more distant from social media (Brown, 2018). Secondly, the article indicates a lack of agreement on how social media influences sleep. For example, some researchers are not certain whether social media is at fault for disturbing slumber or if people spend more time on social media because they cannot sleep (Brown, 2018). Thirdly, social media and even a phone presence can interfere with relationships. In particular, people report experiencing less meaningful conversations and feeling far away from others when seeing a gadget, and feeling jealous after spending time on social media (Brown, 2018). Although Jessica Brown (2018) reviews more effects, the three points demonstrate that the article is important, reflecting the necessity for additional studying. Psychologists and researchers can gather a basis on what is known about social media to identify areas that need further investigation to make the matter more accurate.

Furthermore, the article consists of terms related to the course and its textbook, such as depression, mood, and well-being. For instance, one study found a threefold risk of depression among people who excessively use social media platforms (Brown, 2018). Another research examined the emotional content of status updates and determined that social media is associated with both good and bad moods (Brown, 2018). The article, in general, suggests that social media helps enhance well-being for some people and worsens it for others (Brown, 2018). Therefore, Brown’s report is connected to the textbook, which discusses social psychology.

The article provides information based on evidence from multiple studies. The first analysis collected data by surveying 1800 men and women and described how Twitter relates to stress (Brown, 2018). Several studies focused on mood concerning social media, with one conducted at the University of California and compiling data from more than 100 million Facebook users (Brown, 2018). Two pieces of research involving 700 students and a similar study with 1,700 people have assessed depressive symptoms (Brown, 2018). Another investigation collected data by asking 1,700 people aged 18 to 30 years old about sleeping habits related to social media usage (Brown, 2018). Researchers from the UK analyzed 43 previous studies on social media addiction in relation to mental health (Brown, 2018). An analysis of self-esteem and social media obtained data by surveying 1,500 people from disability charity Scope (Brown, 2018). Researchers from an investigation on well-being collected data by texting 79 participants with questions on their feelings and Facebook (Brown, 2018). A study in Canada surveyed 300 people experiencing jealousy in connection to social media (Brown, 2018). Although the article does not present detailed information on each research, it explains the main points, providing links to every study.

The article comprehensively examined studies on the effects of social media on mental health and well-being. However, it indicated a lack of evidence to make strong conclusions and, therefore, did not adequately answer the main question of whether social media threatens human psychology. As the article suggests a need for more research, further investigation should also be based on current data, considering new social media platforms and changes implemented by existing ones, especially with regard to the pandemic. Nevertheless, society can implicate the findings from Brown’s report to realize that research does not state that social media is exclusively dangerous and should be mindful of its use rather than prohibiting it completely.

Reference

Brown, J. (2018). Is social media bad for you? The evidence and the unknowns. BBC. Web.

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