- The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health: Challenges and Opportunities, by Jacqueline Nesi, North Carolina Medical Journal
- These 5 Social Media Habits Are Linked with Depression, by Rachael Rettner, Live Science
- New Studies Show Just How Bad Social Media Is For Mental Health, by Alice G. Walton, Forbes
- Social media use may harm teens’ mental health by disrupting positive activities, study says By Leah Asmelash, CNN
- Teens and social media use: What’s the impact?, By Mayo Clinic Staff
Updated in 2022
There is a growing debate inside educational circles on the impact of social media on students learning. Studies are divided between those that empirically attest to the importance of including these web tools in learning and others that view them as mere waste of time and detrimental to students overall cognitive and attentional capacities.
Apparently there is no solid convergence on a common decision on this topic. The visual below, which I learned from Mr. Kirsch’s Blog, beautifully captures the different takes on the use of social media by students. The question of whether social media negatively or positively impacts students learning, as the visual concludes, is complex, one that does not support a yes or no answer. The visual further argues that social media is ‘great for certain aspects of college and terrible for others’.
I do agree with this generic conclusion and as I have repeatedly argued in many of the posts I shared in this blog, what matters with social media and technology in general is how we use it. Unlike technology determinists, I do not think that technology is inherently malicious but how we interact with it and the ways we put it to use that shapes the impact it has on our cognition.
That being said, a growing body of scientific research emphasizes the negative effects prolonged exposure to social media can have on our teen’s minds. For instance, a number of studies related depression, self-harm, suicidal behaviour, degenerative mental health, cybervictimization, cyberbullying to social media use. Hence the importance of moderation and parental control to moderate teens interaction with social media.
If you want to learn more about the impact of social media on teens health check out these resources: