Social Media and Adolescent Mental Health
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In the late 1990s, the first emergence of social media platforms began to change the way humans communicate within society (van Dijck, 2013). Before this time, connecting with others meant personal telephone calls, emails, letter writing, or face-to-face interactions. Through modern day social media platforms, it is now possible to be continuously connected, whether by posting a photo on Instagram, changing a status on Facebook, or networking on LinkedIn. Because these platforms are so prominent in our current society, it is essential to examine both the benefits they present as well as the potential costs. Some of these benefits might include ease of access, new forms of personal expression, and creating new connections. There could also be impacts on mental health, whether positive or negative. Some of these costs may include body image difficulties, depression or anxiety (Bányai et al., 2017; Durak, 2018; Ferguson et al., 2014). This research focuses on the social media platforms’ impact on adolescent mental health in particular. According to the World Health Organization (n.d.), the adolescent age group consists of individuals10-19 years old. I chose this age group because of their unique exposure to social media. Today’s adolescents were born after the emergence of the first forms of social media. As a result, they have never known a world in which social media did not exist.