Social Media Use and Mental Health among Young Adults

  • Chloe Berryman
  • Christopher J. Ferguson
  • Charles Negy
Original Paper

Abstract

In recent years many parents, advocates and policy makers have expressed concerns regarding the potential negative impact of social media use. Some studies have indicated that social media use may be tied to negative mental health outcomes, including suicidality, loneliness and decreased empathy. Other studies have not found evidence for harm, or have indicated that social media use may be beneficial for some individuals. The current correlational study examined 467 young adults for their time spent using social media, importance of social media in their lives and tendency to engage in vaguebooking (posting unclear but alarming sounding posts to get attention). Outcomes considered included general mental health symptoms, suicidal ideation, loneliness, social anxiety and decreased empathy. Results indicated that social media use was not predictive of impaired mental health functioning. However, vaguebooking was predictive of suicidal ideation, suggesting this particular behavior could be a warning sign for serious issues. Overall, results from this study suggest that, with the exception of vaguebooking, concerns regarding social media use may be misplaced.

Keywords

Social media Mental health Suicide Empathy Vaguebooking 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chloe Berryman
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Ferguson
    • 2
  • Charles Negy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Stetson UniversityDeLandUSA

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