The Impact of Social Media on the Mental Health of Adolescents

Past research into social media and mental health connections focused primarily on screen-time as being the measure of exposure to such platforms. However, self-reports that were fundamental to research prior have been noted to be less reliable and accurate in presenting true social media exposure among adolescents. As such, the following study implements time-use diaries as a less biased measure of exposure. Utilizing this, the findings reflected that higher quantities of exposure as recorded by the time-use diaries with a higher amount of time spent on social media correlated with risks of self-harm, depression and decreased self-esteem. This study is important in analyzing the true factors, such as time-use diaries, contributing to decreasing mental health among adolescents in regards to social media.

Social media has been noted to be impactful in beneficial ways due to communicative channels and the dispersal of information but has similarly had negative effects on the sexual and social wellness of certain adolescent users. The following research observed the development in the social norms that are facilitated by social media influence. Online activity has been noted to impact self-esteem adversely and even increase high-risk behaviors among adolescents. The study is also able to illustrate that the majority of current literature aims at analyzing the use of social media for positive health results and interventions, but does not fully recognize the utility of such resources or programs. Additionally, health care providers specifically targeted at adolescents have also become much more prevalent throughout social media but their current impact requires further analysis.

The following study observes not only the negative but also the beneficial effects of social media on populations of adolescents. The paper recognizes that symptoms such as social filters, triggers, and cyberbullying are prevalent and harmful throughout social media platforms. However, the study is also able to present a number of positive features present on social media platforms such as self-expression, sense of community, connectivity, and anonymity in accessing necessary resources, which can include mental health tools. As such, the paper outlines the complexity that social media has presented within a highly-globalized world which relies greatly on technology. As an alternative to simply minimizing social media access, the study provides that research is necessary in order to integrate social media into the lives of adolescents successfully and maintain adequate mental health processes.

This study approaches the topic of mental health in relation to social media among adolescents through the analysis of current academic works. While the body of work on the topic among adolescents living in the global north is sufficient if not expansive, research concerning adolescent populations in the global south is lacking. The study outlines the current issues and influences that affect adolescents in the global south in regards to social media and why prevalent concerns require further intervention. First, the global south actually contains the majority of the world’s adolescents, and by default is more likely to have more frequent occurrences of social media and mental health interactions. While the study is able to present that social media may have a number of detrimental effects on the mental health of adolescents, it also emphasizes the current lack of contextual and localized research for regions within the global south.

A less observed facet of social media and adolescent interactions is the need for health care practitioners to include the influence of social media as a new dimension to mental health risks. In order to better understand this component, practitioners may have to increase research into the core concepts of adolescent perceptions of social media and their own mental health. Within this study, eight groups of six adolescents each aged between 11 and 18 were able to provide good and bad aspects of social media and categorize them according to their own perception. This is integral in understanding the levels of interaction with certain platforms or even features of social media and their impact on mental health.

Self-harm and suicidality have been linked to increased exposure to social media among adolescent populations. The study identifies a number of indicators such as suicide ideation and attempts and their relation to exposure to related topics both within online and offline social networks. Similarly, suicidality and social circumstances play a large role in defining mental health among adolescents. The findings observed South Korean students with a history of self-harm or suicidal ideation or attempts and uncovered that self-harm is prevalent in early adolescent participants who take part in the assortative gatherings. Social media may in turn be compounding on the suicide risk of students that find themselves in vulnerable social circumstances.

The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in a number of unforeseen changes to the interaction with social media for prolonged periods of time among various demographics. Within isolation, the exposure to social media among adolescents had grown drastically and so did both positive and negative implications. This particular study observes the transformation of information and groups affected by it throughout social media between the beginning and current time in the timeline of the pandemic. The study found that the female participants, students, and individuals between 20 and 28 were the most prevalent users. Facebook was the most common source of information regarding health resources. It was also discovered that 80% of participants engaged with and followed health measures within 28 days of finding the information.

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Premium Papers. (2023, October 5). The Impact of Social Media on the Mental Health of Adolescents. Retrieved from


Premium Papers. (2023, October 5). The Impact of Social Media on the Mental Health of Adolescents.

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"The Impact of Social Media on the Mental Health of Adolescents." Premium Papers, 5 Oct. 2023,


Premium Papers. (2023) 'The Impact of Social Media on the Mental Health of Adolescents'. 5 October.


Premium Papers. 2023. "The Impact of Social Media on the Mental Health of Adolescents." October 5, 2023.

1. Premium Papers. "The Impact of Social Media on the Mental Health of Adolescents." October 5, 2023.


Premium Papers. "The Impact of Social Media on the Mental Health of Adolescents." October 5, 2023.