Previous research has shown the negative effects social media has on mental health, especially with the younger population. While there are some negative effects to social media, recent research has shown there can be positive effects for mental health, specifically with adults.
A recent study found that limiting social media use for adults to around 30 minutes a day has the possibility of improving mental health. In this particular study, 63% of social media users were actually less likely to experience mental health problems because they were able to stay in touch with family members and friends and also gain access to health information.
Even though there is a large amount of research which shows the negative effects social media can have on individual’s mental health, it is important to note that social media can be a positive thing for people. There are three significant things to consider when on social media: amount of time spent on social media, reasons for being on social media, and the age of the individual using the social media. It is important for all people, no matter their age, to monitor the amount of time spent on social media. Social media is a very powerful tool and can be a positive part of people’s lives; it just depends on how it is used and how often it is used.
Professor Keith Hampton states, “Today, we have these ongoing, little bits of information popping up on our cell phones and Facebook feeds, and that ongoing contact might matter for things like mental health.” This quote summarizes the fact we live in a world where it is so easy to check our phones, social media accounts, etc., but it also shows the importance of monitoring the amount of time spent on our phones because it does matter.
Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profits organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.