Social media use is rapidly growing among adolescents, studies cite that the rates of “constant use” doubled from 2015 to 2018 (Anderson & Jiang, 2018; Lenhart, 2015). Social media use can have a serious negative impact on areas of well-being including feelings of depression, anxiety, fear of missing out, body image, bullying and sleep. Mojtabai, Olfson and Han (2016) cite the problematic use of mobile phones and social media applications as one of the trends aligning with the increase in major depressive episodes. Conversely, use of social media can promote positive feelings of well-being including creating a sense of community, providing access to needed health information, helping create new relationships and maintain existing ones and offering a platform for self-expression and creation of self-identity. The purpose of this study was to compare the positive and negative impacts of the top four social media platforms used by adolescents on 14 areas of well-being. SPSS was used for data analysis to compare well-being scores for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Analysis was also completed to see if there was a relationship between time spent online and perceived well-being. Consistent with research, the majority of adolescents cite that their smartphone is the primary way they access social media. YouTube was identified as having the most positive impact on adolescent well-being while Instagram was perceived as having the most negative. Time spent online indicated a weak, positive correlation to well-being with only YouTube.
Date of Degree
Master of Science (MS)
Allied Health and Nursing
Kennedy, K. (2019). Positive and negative effects of social media on adolescent well-being [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/925/
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Health and Physical Education Commons, Mental and Social Health Commons, Social Media Commons