The purpose of the study is to identify the health-related factors and potential negative experiences and outcomes associated with current adolescent social media over-use across parts of Europe.
A key challenge today is learning how to adapt to this new environment, to learn to balance online and offline activities, and to get the best out of the digital world we are now in. In our Healthy Social Media research project we have examined the potential detrimental effects of social media on the personal, social, and professional lives of the users. The methodology was exploratory in nature, with secondary sources used in our literature review and primary sources in our subsequent research and findings.
A further aim of this study was to inform the subsequent development of a set of open education resources and “App” to help guide and empower our youth in developing and maintaining healthy social media practices, and to become responsible digital citizens.
You can read the Report Abstract below and download the full report at the bottom of the page.
Social media is here to stay, it has changed the way society connects, communicates and exchanges information, in many ways for the better. Due to the widespread popularity and constant development of smart phones and electronic devices modern life has reconfigured, cutting across national boundaries and impacting on relationships, culture, economy and world views (Jenson, 2013). However, social media can be a double-edged sword. There is growing concern that digital technology can also bring negative repercussions, especially to the younger generation who are its main consumers. The focus of this research was how this digital landscape is influencing young people, and to study the effects and potential hazards.
The intention of this study is not to denounce all elements of social media, when used wisely it is be a highly effective social, educational and business tool, and can be a lifeline for many, especially for those living in rural areas, the housebound, and those who have moved away. Nevertheless the true value and significance of its usage is reliant on the how the user handles it, and what impact, if any, on the emotional, social and psychological development of young people. To be aware of the potential dangers and vulnerabilities that young people may be exposing themselves to, this should empower them to become responsible consumers and contributors to this new digital world. The concern is that leaving it unexplored may possibly result in a type of social dysfunction and a society with a disproportionate amount of mental health issues
As technologies are constantly changing and expanding, we can assume so too is its usage and its effects. Societal norms and values appear to have shifted considerably in the past twenty years, examples would be; the blurring of the public and private elements of a young person’s life, accessibility to disturbing content, conflict drama, a realistic attitude towards online privacy.
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