06760 Topic: Behavioural science – Research report Number of Pages: 4 (Double Spaced) Number of sources: 1 Writing Style: APA Type of document: Essay Academic Level:Undergraduate Category: Psychology Language Style: English (U.S.) Order Instructions: ATTACHED
Title: The Influence of Social Media on Adolescent Behavior
Social media has become an integral part of modern society and has significantly impacted various aspects of human life. With the increasing popularity of social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the way people communicate, interact, and behave has drastically changed. This research report aims to investigate the influence of social media on adolescent behavior, focusing on the effect it has on their psychological well-being, self-esteem, and body image. This report will present an extensive review of relevant literature on the topic, discuss the key findings, and provide a critical analysis.
The impact of social media on adolescents’ psychological well-being is an area of growing concern. Research has shown that excessive use of social media platforms can contribute to negative effects on mental health, including increased feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety (Kross et al., 2013; Primack et al., 2017). According to Twenge (2018), spending more than two hours per day on social media is associated with higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation in adolescents. This could be due to the constant exposure to highly curated and filtered content on social media, which may create unrealistic expectations and foster social comparison.
Body image dissatisfaction is another significant issue influenced by social media. Adolescents often compare their physical appearance to the idealized standards showcased on social media, leading to lower self-esteem and increased body dissatisfaction (Fardouly et al., 2015; Perloff, 2014). A study by Tiggemann and Slater (2014) found that exposure to thin-ideal images on social media platforms such as Instagram had a negative impact on body image and self-esteem among young women. Similarly, research by Homan and colleagues (2017) revealed a direct relationship between Facebook usage and body image concerns in adolescent girls.
Furthermore, social media platforms have been found to contribute to the development of addictive behavior among adolescents. The constant need for social validation, likes, and followers on social media can promote addictive behaviors and increase adolescents’ susceptibility to developing problematic internet use (Andreassen et al., 2017; Kuss et al., 2014). Research has suggested that excessive use of social media can lead to symptoms resembling other addictive behaviors, such as loss of control over usage, preoccupation with social media, and negative consequences in functioning (Kuss & Griffiths, 2017).
On the other hand, some studies have also highlighted the positive impact of social media on adolescent behavior. For instance, social media platforms can facilitate social connections and provide opportunities for social support among adolescents (Valkenburg & Peter, 2011). Research by Ellison et al. (2014) suggests that social media usage can enhance self-esteem and self-expression among adolescents. Furthermore, social media can provide a platform for self-reflection, self-presentation, and identity formation (Livingstone & Brake, 2010). These positive aspects, however, need to be carefully balanced against the potential negative consequences.
The findings from the literature review demonstrate that social media has a profound impact on adolescent behavior, with both positive and negative consequences. The negative effects include increased psychological distress, body image dissatisfaction, and addictive tendencies. Excessive use of social media can lead to depressive symptoms, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness among adolescents. The constant exposure to carefully selected and manipulated content on social media platforms portrays an unrealistic image of others’ lives, leading to social comparison and dissatisfaction with one’s own life. Moreover, excessive social media usage can contribute to the development of an unhealthy body image and an increased risk of developing addictive behaviors.
However, it is important to note that social media platforms can also have positive effects on adolescent behavior. For instance, they provide avenues for social connectivity, self-expression, and identity formation. Adolescents can use social media to establish and maintain social relationships, seek social support, and explore their interests and values. Additionally, social media can serve as a platform for self-reflection and self-presentation, which can enhance self-esteem and personal growth.
Overall, it is evident that social media has both positive and negative influences on adolescent behavior. However, the negative aspects must be addressed to ensure the mental well-being and healthy development of adolescents in the digital age. Future research should focus on developing strategies to mitigate the negative effects of social media and promote its positive potential.