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Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features:


   * Social media are interactive Web 2.0 Internet-based applications.
   * User-generated content, such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions, is the lifeblood of social media.
   * Users create service-specific profiles for the website or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization.
   * Social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user's profile with those of other individuals or groups.


Users typically access social media services via web-based technologies on desktops and laptops, or download services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets). As users engage with these electronic services, they create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities, and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online.


Networks formed through social media change the way groups of people interact and communicate. They "introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities, and individuals." These changes are the focus of the emerging fields of technoself studies. Social media differ from paper-based media (e.g., magazines and newspapers) and traditional electronic media such as TV broadcasting in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, interactivity, usability, immediacy, and performance. Social media outlets operate in a dialogic transmission system (many sources to many receivers). This is in contrast to traditional media which operates under a monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers), such as a newspaper which is delivered to many subscribers, or a radio station which broadcasts the same programs to an entire city. Some of the most popular social media websites, with over 100 million registered users, include Facebook (and its associated Facebook Messenger), YouTube, WeChat, Instagram, QQ, QZone, Weibo, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Baidu Tieba, LinkedIn, LINE, Snapchat, Pinterest, Viber, and VK.


Observers have noted a range of positive and negative impacts of social media use. Social media can help to improve an individual's sense of connectedness with real or online communities, and can be an effective communication (or marketing) tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, political parties, and governments. At the same time, concerns have been raised about possible links between heavy social media use and depression, and even the issues of cyberbullying, online harassment and "trolling". Currently, about half of young adults have been cyberbullied, and of those, 20% said that they have been cyberbullied regularly. Another survey in the U.S. applied the Precaution Process Adoption Model to cyberbullying on Facebook among 7th grade students. According to this study, 69% of 7th grade students claim to have experienced cyberbullying, and they also said that it was worse than face-to-face bullying. Both the bully and the victim are negatively affected, and the intensity, duration, and frequency of bullying are the three aspects that increase the negative effects on both of them.


Definition and Classification

The variety of evolving stand-alone and built-in social media services makes it challenging to define them. However, marketing and social media experts broadly agree that social media includes the following 13 types of social media: blogs, business networks, collaborative projects, enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds.


The idea that social media are defined simply by their ability to bring people together has been seen as too broad, as this would suggest that fundamentally different technologies like the telegraph and telephone are also social media. The terminology is unclear, with some early researchers referring to social media as social networks or social networking services in the mid 2000s. A more recent paper from 2015 reviewed the prominent literature in the area and identified four common features unique to then-current social media services:


   * social media are Web 2.0 Internet-based applications,
   * user-generated content (UGC) is the lifeblood of the social media organism,
   * users create service-specific profiles for the site or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization,
   * social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user's profile with those of other individuals or groups.


In 2016, Merriam-Webster defined social media as "forms of electronic communication (such as Web sites) through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, etc."


The development of social media started off with simple platforms such as sixdegrees.com. Unlike instant messaging clients, such as ICQ and AOL's AIM, or chat clients like IRC, iChat or Chat Television, sixdegrees.com was the first online business that was created for real people, using their real names. The first social networks were short-lived, however, because their users lost interest. The Social Network Revolution has led to the rise of the networking sites. Research shows that the audience spends 22% of their time on social networks, thus proving how popular social media platforms have become. This increase is because of the widespread daily use of smartphones. Social media are used to document memories, learn about and explore things, advertise oneself and form friendships as well as the growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos and gaming sites. Networked individuals create, edit, and manage content in collaboration with other networked individuals. This way they contribute in expanding knowledge. Wikis are examples of collaborative content creation.


Mobile social media refer to the use of social media on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Mobile social media are a useful application of mobile marketing because the creation, exchange, and circulation of user-generated content can assist companies with marketing research, communication, and relationship development. Mobile social media differ from others because they incorporate the current location of the user (location-sensitivity) or the time delay between sending and receiving messages (time-sensitivity). According to Andreas Kaplan, mobile social media applications can be differentiated among four types:


   * Space-timers (location and time sensitive): Exchange of messages with relevance mostly for one specific location at one specific point in time (e.g. Facebook Places WhatsApp; Foursquare)
   * Space-locators (only location sensitive): Exchange of messages, with relevance for one specific location, which is tagged to a certain place and read later by others (e.g. Yelp; Qype, Tumblr, Fishbrain)
   * Quick-timers (only time sensitive): Transfer of traditional social media applications to mobile devices to increase immediacy (e.g. posting Twitter messages or Facebook status updates)
   * Slow-timers (neither location nor time sensitive): Transfer of traditional social media applications to mobile devices (e.g. watching a YouTube video or reading/editing a Wikipedia article)


Elements and Function

Viral Content


Some social media sites have potential for content posted there to spread virally over social networks. The term is an analogy to the concept of viral infections, which can spread rapidly from person to person. In a social media context, content or websites that are "viral" (or which "go viral") are those with a greater likelihood that users will reshare content posted (by another user) to their social network, leading to further sharing. In some cases, posts containing popular content or fast-breaking news have been rapidly shared and reshared by a huge number of users. Many social media sites provide a specific functionality to help users reshare content, such as Twitter's retweet button, Pinterest's pin function, Facebook's share option or Tumblr's reblog function. Businesses have a particular interest in viral marketing tactics because a viral campaign can achieve widespread advertising coverage (particularly if the viral reposting itself makes the news) for a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing campaign, which typically uses printed materials, like newspapers, magazines, mailings, and billboards, and television and radio commercials. Nonprofit organizations and activists may have similar interests in posting content on social media sites with the aim of it going viral. A popular component and feature of Twitter is retweeting. Twitter allows other people to keep up with important events, stay connected with their peers, and can contribute in various ways throughout social media. When certain posts become popular, they start to get retweeted over and over again, becoming viral. Hashtags can be used in tweets, and can also be used to take count of how many people have used that hashtag.



Bots


Social media can enable companies to get in the form of greater market share and increased audiences. Internet bots have been developed which facilitate social media marketing. Bots are automated programs that run over the internet, with the most important social media marketing examples being chatbots and social bots. Chatbots and social bots are programmed to mimic natural human interactions such as liking, commenting, following, and unfollowing on social media platforms. A new industry of bot providers has been created. Social bots and chatbots have created an analytical crisis in the marketing industry as they make it difficult to differentiate between human interactions and automated bot interactions. Some bots are negatively affecting their marketing data causing a "digital cannibalism" in social media marketing. Additionally, some bots violate the terms of use on many social mediums such as Instagram, which can result in profiles being taken down and banned.


"Cyborgs", a combination of a human and a bot, are used to spread fake news or create a marketing "buzz". Cyborgs can be bot-assisted humans or human-assisted bots. An example is a human who registers an account for which he sets automated programs to post, for instance, tweets, during his absence. From time to time, the human participates to tweet and interact with friends. Cyborgs make it easier to spread fake news, as it blends automated activity with human input. When the automated accounts are publicly identified, the human part of the cyborg is able to take over and could protest that the account has been used manually all along. Such accounts try to pose as real people; in particular, the number of their friends or followers should be resembling that of a real person. Often, such accounts use "friend farms" to collect a large number of friends in a short period of time.


There has been rapid growth in the number of US patent applications that cover new technologies related to social media, and the number of them that are published has been growing rapidly over the past five years. There are now over 2000 published patent applications. As many as 7000 applications may be currently on file including those that haven't been published yet. Only slightly over 100 of these applications have issued as patents, however, largely due to the multi-year backlog in examination of business method patents, patents which outline and claim new methods of doing business.



Use by Individuals


As a News Source


In the United States, 81% of look online for news of the weather, first and foremost, with the percentage seeking national news at 73%, 52% for sports news, and 41% for entertainment or celebrity news. According to CNN, in 2010 75% of people got their news forwarded through e-mail or social media posts, whereas 37% of people shared a news item via Facebook or Twitter. Facebook and Twitter make news a more participatory experience than before as people share news articles and comment on other people's posts. Rainie and Wellman have argued that media making now has become a participation work, which changes communication systems. However, 27% of respondents worry about the accuracy of a story on a blog.


Effects on Individual and Collective Memory


News media and television journalism have been a key feature in the shaping of American collective memory for much of the twentieth century. Indeed, since the United States' colonial era, news media has influenced collective memory and discourse about national development and trauma. In many ways, mainstream journalists have maintained an authoritative voice as the storytellers of the American past. Their documentary style narratives, detailed exposes, and their positions in the present make them prime sources for public memory. Specifically, news media journalists have shaped collective memory on nearly every major national event – from the deaths of social and political figures to the progression of political hopefuls. Journalists provide elaborate descriptions of commemorative events in U.S. history and contemporary popular cultural sensations. Many Americans learn the significance of historical events and political issues through news media, as they are presented on popular news stations. However, journalistic influence is growing less important, whereas social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, provide a constant supply of alternative news sources for users.


As social networking becomes more popular among older and younger generations, sites such as Facebook and YouTube, gradually undermine the traditionally authoritative voices of news media. For example, American citizens contest media coverage of various social and political events as they see fit, inserting their voices into the narratives about America's past and present and shaping their own collective memories.[99][100] An example of this is the public explosion of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida. News media coverage of the incident was minimal until social media users made the story recognizable through their constant discussion of the case. Approximately one month after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, its online coverage by everyday Americans garnered national attention from mainstream media journalists, in turn exemplifying media activism. In some ways, the spread of this tragic event through alternative news sources parallels that of Emmitt Till – whose murder by lynching in 1955 became a national story after it was circulated in African-American and Communist newspapers.


Interpersonal Relationships


Social media is used to fulfill perceived social needs, but not all needs can be fulfilled by social media. For example, lonely individuals are more likely to use the Internet for emotional support than those who are not lonely. Sherry Turkle explores these issues in her book Alone Together as she discusses how people confuse social media usage with authentic communication. She posits that people tend to act differently online and are less afraid to hurt each other's feelings. Additionally, studies on who interacts on the internet have shown that extraversion and openness have a positive relationship with social media, while emotional stability has a negative sloping relationship with social media.


Some online behaviors can cause stress and anxiety, due to the permanence of online posts, the fear of being hacked, or of universities and employers exploring social media pages. Turkle also speculates that people are beginning to prefer texting to face-to-face communication, which can contribute to feelings of loneliness.[104] Some researchers have also found that exchanges that involved direct communication and reciprocation of messages correlated with less feelings of loneliness. However, passively using social media without sending or receiving messages does not make people feel less lonely unless they were lonely to begin with.


Checking updates on friends' activities on social media is associated with the "fear of missing out" (FOMO), the "pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent". FOMO is a social anxiety characterized by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing". It has negative influences on people's psychological health and well-being because it could contribute to negative mood and depressed feelings.


Concerns have been raised about online "stalking" or "creeping" of people on social media, which means looking at the person's "timeline, status updates, tweets, and online bios" to find information about them and their activities. While social media creeping is common, it is considered to be poor form to admit to a new acquaintance or new date that you have looked through his or her social media posts, particularly older posts, as this will indicate that you were going through their old history. A sub-category of creeping is creeping ex-partners' social media posts after a breakup to investigate if there is a new partner or new dating; this can lead to preoccupation with the ex, rumination and negative feelings, all of which postpone recovery and increase feelings of loss.


According to research from UCLA, teenage brains' reward circuits were more active when teenager's photos were liked by more peers. This has both positive and negative features. Teenagers and young adults befriend people online whom they don't know well. This opens the possibility of a child being influenced by people who engage in risk-taking behavior. When children have several hundred online connections there is no way for parents to know who they are.


Self-presentation


The more time people spend on Facebook, the less satisfied they feel about their life. Self-presentational theory explains that people will consciously manage their self-image or identity related information in social contexts. When people are not accepted or are criticized online they feel emotional pain. This may lead to some form of online retaliation such as online bullying. Trudy Hui Hui Chua and Leanne Chang's article, "Follow Me and Like My Beautiful Selfies: Singapore Teenage Girls' Engagement in Self-Presentation and Peer Comparison on Social Media" states that teenage girls manipulate their self-presentation on social media to achieve a sense of beauty that is projected by their peers. These authors also discovered that teenage girls compare themselves to their peers on social media and present themselves in certain ways in effort to earn regard and acceptance, which can actually lead to problems with self-confidence and self-satisfaction.


Health Improvement


Social media might can also function as a supportive system for adolescents' health, because by using social media, adolescents are able to mobilize around health issues that they themselves deem relevant. For example, in a clinical study among adolescent patients undergoing treatment for obesity, the participants' expressed that through social media, they could find personalized weight-loss content as well as social support among other adolescents with obesity The same authors also found that as with other types of online information, the adolescents need to possess necessary skills to evaluate and identify reliable health information, competencies commonly known as health literacy.


Disparity


People who live in poverty, such as homeless people, have low levels of access to computers and Internet or a lack of familiarity with these technologies. This means that these marginalized people are not able to use social media tools to find information, jobs, housing, and other necessities.


The digital divide is a measure of disparity in the level of access to technology between households, socioeconomic levels or other demographic categories. People who are homeless, living in poverty, elderly people and those living in rural or remote communities may have little or no access to computers and the Internet; in contrast, middle class and upper-class people in urban areas have very high rates of computer and Internet access. Other models argue that within a modern information society, some individuals produce Internet content while others only consume it, which could be a result of disparities in the education system where only some teachers integrate technology into the classroom and teach critical thinking. While social media has differences among age groups, a 2010 study in the United States found no racial divide. Some zero-rating programs offer subsidized data access to certain websites on low-cost plans. Critics say that this is an anti-competitive program that undermines net neutrality and creates a "walled garden" for platforms like Facebook Zero. A 2015 study found that 65% of Nigerians, 61% of Indonesians, and 58% of Indians agree with the statement that "Facebook is the Internet" compared with only 5% in the US.


Eric Ehrmann contends that social media in the form of public diplomacy create a patina of inclusiveness that covers[126] traditional economic interests that are structured to ensure that wealth is pumped up to the top of the economic pyramid, perpetuating the digital divide and post Marxian class conflict. He also voices concern over the trend that finds social utilities operating in a quasi-libertarian global environment of oligopoly that requires users in economically challenged nations to spend high percentages of annual income to pay for devices and services to participate in the social media lifestyle. Neil Postman also contends that social media will increase an information disparity between "winners" – who are able to use the social media actively – and "losers" – who are not familiar with modern technologies or who do not have access to them. People with high social media skills may have better access to information about job opportunities, potential new friends, and social activities in their area, which may enable them to improve their standard of living and their quality of life.


Political Polarization


According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans at least occasionally receive news from social media. Because of algorithms on social media which filter and display news content which are likely to match their users’ political preferences, a potential impact of receiving news from social media includes an increase in political polarization due to selective exposure. Political polarization refers to when an individual's stance on a topic is more likely to be strictly defined by their identification with a specific political party or ideology than on other factors. Selective exposure occurs when an individual favors information which supports their beliefs and avoids information which conflicts with their beliefs. A study by Hayat and Samuel-Azran conducted during the 2016 U.S. presidential election observed an “echo chamber” effect of selective exposure among 27,811 Twitter users following the content of cable news shows. The Twitter users observed in the study were found to have little interaction with users and content whose beliefs were different from their own, possibly heightening polarization effects.


Efforts to combat selective exposure in social media may also cause an increase in political polarization. A study examining Twitter activity conducted by Bail et al. paid Democrat and Republican participants to follow Twitter handles whose content was different from their political beliefs (Republicans received liberal content and Democrats received conservative content) over a six-week period. At the end of the study, both Democrat and Republican participants were found to have increased political polarization in favor of their own parties, though only Republican participants had an increase that was statistically significant.


Though research has shown evidence that social media plays a role in increasing political polarization, it has also shown evidence that social media use leads to a persuasion of political beliefs. An online survey consisting of 1,024 U.S. participants was conducted by Diehl, Weeks, and Gil de Zuñiga, which found that individuals who use social media were more likely to have their political beliefs persuaded than those who did not. In particular, those using social media as a means to receive their news were the most likely to have their political beliefs changed. Diehl et al. found that the persuasion reported by participants was influenced by the exposure to diverse viewpoints they experienced, both in the content they saw as well as the political discussions they participated in. Similarly, a study by Hardy and colleagues conducted with 189 students from a Midwestern state university examined the persuasive effect of watching a political comedy video on Facebook. Hardy et al. found that after watching a Facebook video of the comedian/political commentator John Oliver performing a segment on his show, participants were likely to be persuaded to change their viewpoint on the topic they watched (either payday lending or the Ferguson protests) to one that was closer to the opinion expressed by Oliver. Furthermore, the persuasion experienced by the participants was found to be reduced if they viewed comments by Facebook users which contradicted the arguments made by Oliver.


Research has also shown that social media use may not have an effect on polarization at all. A U.S. national survey of 1,032 participants conducted by Lee et al. found that participants who used social media were more likely to be exposed to a diverse number of people and amount of opinion than those who did not, although using social media was not correlated with a change in political polarization for these participants.


In a study examining the potential polarizing effects of social media on the political views of its users, Mihailidis and Viotty suggest that a new way of engaging with social media must occur to avoid polarization. The authors note that media literacies (described as methods which give people skills to critique and create media) are important to using social media in a responsible and productive way, and state that these literacies must be changed further in order to have the most effectiveness.[133] In order to decrease polarization and encourage cooperation among social media users, Mihailidis and Viotty suggest that media literacies must focus on teaching individuals how to connect with other people in a caring way, embrace differences, and understand the ways in which social media has a realistic impact on the political, social, and cultural issues of the society they are a part of.


Stereotyping


Recent research has demonstrated that social media, and media in general, have the power to increase the scope of stereotypes not only in children but people all ages. Three researchers at Blanquerna University, Spain, examined how adolescents interact with social media and specifically Facebook. They suggest that interactions on the website encourage representing oneself in the traditional gender constructs, which helps maintain gender stereotypes. The authors noted that girls generally show more emotion in their posts and more frequently change their profile pictures, which according to some psychologists can lead to self-objectification. On the other hand, the researchers found that boys prefer to portray themselves as strong, independent, and powerful. For example, men often post pictures of objects and not themselves, and rarely change their profile pictures; using the pages more for entertainment and pragmatic reasons. In contrast girls generally post more images that include themselves, friends and things they have emotional ties to, which the researchers attributed that to the higher emotional intelligence of girls at a younger age. The authors sampled over 632 girls and boys from the ages of 12–16 from Spain in an effort to confirm their beliefs. The researchers concluded that masculinity is more commonly associated with a positive psychological well-being, while femininity displays less psychological well-being. Furthermore, the researchers discovered that people tend not to completely conform to either stereotype, and encompass desirable parts of both. Users of Facebook generally use their profile to reflect that they are a "normal" person. Social media was found to uphold gender stereotypes both feminine and masculine. The researchers also noted that the traditional stereotypes are often upheld by boys more so than girls. The authors described how neither stereotype was entirely positive, but most people viewed masculine values as more positive.


Cognition and Memory


According to writer Christine Rosen in "Virtual Friendship, and the New Narcissism," many social media sites encourage status-seeking. According to Rosen, the practice and definition of "friendship" changes in virtuality. Friendship "in these virtual spaces is thoroughly different from real-world friendship. In its traditional sense, friendship is a relationship which, broadly speaking, involves the sharing of mutual interests, reciprocity, trust, and the revelation of intimate details over time and within specific social (and cultural) contexts. Because friendship depends on mutual revelations that are concealed from the rest of the world, it can only flourish within the boundaries of privacy; the idea of public friendship is an oxymoron." Rosen also cites Brigham Young University researchers who "recently surveyed 184 users of social networking sites and found that heavy users 'feel less socially involved with the community around them.'" Critic Nicholas G. Carr in "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" questions how technology affects cognition and memory. "The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author's words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds. In the quiet spaces opened up by the sustained, undistracted reading of a book, or by any other act of contemplation, for that matter, we make our own associations, draw our own inferences and analogies, foster our own ideas... If we lose those quiet spaces, or fill them up with "content," we will sacrifice something important not only in ourselves but in our culture."


Physical and Mental Health


There are several negative effects to social media which receive criticism, for example regarding privacy issues, information overload and Internet fraud. Social media can also have negative social effects on users. Angry or emotional conversations can lead to real-world interactions outside of the Internet, which can get users into dangerous situations. Some users have experienced threats of violence online and have feared these threats manifesting themselves offline. Studies also show that social media have negative effects on peoples' self-esteem and self-worth. The authors of "Who Compares and Despairs? The Effect of Social Comparison Orientation on Social Media Use and its Outcomes" found that people with a higher social comparison orientation appear to use social media more heavily than people with low social comparison orientation. This finding was consistent with other studies that found people with high social comparison orientation make more social comparisons once on social media. People compare their own lives to the lives of their friends through their friends' posts. People are motivated to portray themselves in a way that is appropriate to the situation and serves their best interest. Often the things posted online are the positive aspects of people's lives, making other people question why their own lives are not as exciting or fulfilling. This can lead to depression and other self-esteem issues as well as decrease their satisfaction of life as they feel if their life is not exciting enough to put online it is not as good as their friends or family.


Studies have shown that self comparison on social media can have dire effects on physical and mental health because they give us the ability to seek approval and compare ourselves. Social media has both a practical usage- to connect us with others, but also can lead to fulfillment of gratification. In fact, one study suggests that because a critical aspect of social networking sites involve spending hours, if not months customizing a personal profile, and encourage a sort of social currency based on likes, followers and comments- they provide a forum for persistent "appearance conversations". These appearance centered conversations that forums like Facebook, Instagram among others provide can lead to feelings of disappointment in looks and personality when not enough likes or comments are achieved. In addition, social media use can lead to detrimental physical health effects. A large body of literature associates body image and disordered eating with social networking platforms. Specifically, literature suggests that social media can breed a negative feedback loop of viewing and uploading photos, self comparison, feelings of disappointment when perceived social success is not achieved, and disordered body perception.[148] In fact, one study shows that the microblogging platform, Pinterest is directly associated with disordered dieting behavior, indicating that for those who frequently look at exercise or dieting "pins" there is a greater chance that they will engage in extreme weight-loss and dieting behavior.


Bo Han, a social media researcher at Texas A&M University-Commerce, finds that users are likely to experience the "social media burnout" issue. Ambivalence, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization are usually the main symptoms if a user experiences social media burnout. Ambivalence refers to a user's confusion about the benefits she can get from using a social media site. Emotional exhaustion refers to the stress a user has when using a social media site. Depersonalization refers to the emotional detachment from a social media site a user experiences. The three burnout factors can all negatively influence the user's social media continuance. This study provides an instrument to measure the burnout a user can experience, when her social media "friends" are generating an overwhelming amount of useless information (e.g., "what I had for dinner", "where I am now").


Adolescents


Excessive use of digital technology, like social media, by adolescents can cause disruptions in their physical and mental health, in sleeping patterns, their weight and levels of exercise and notably in their academic performance. Research has continued to demonstrate that long hours spent on mobile devices have shown a positive relationship with an increase in teenagers' BMI and a lack of physical activity. Moreover, excessive internet usage has been linked to lower grades compared to users who don't spend an excessive amount of time online, even with a control over age, gender, race, parent education and personal contentment factors that may affect the study. In a recent study, it was found that time spent on Facebook has a strong negative relationship with overall GPA. The use of multiple social media platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults than time spent online. The analysis showed that people who reported using the most platforms (7 to 11) had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than people who used the fewest (0 to 2). Social media addiction and its sub-dimensions have a high positive correlation. The more the participants are addicted to social media, the less satisfied they are with life.


Sleep Disturbances


According to a study released in 2017 by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, the link between sleep disturbance and the use of social media was clear. It concluded that blue light had a part to play—and how often they logged on, rather than time spent on social media sites, was a higher predictor of disturbed sleep, suggesting "an obsessive 'checking'". The strong relationship of social media use and sleep disturbance has significant clinical ramifications for a young adults health and well-being. In a recent study, we have learned that people in the highest quartile for social media use per week report the most amount of sleep disturbance. The median number of minutes of social media use per day is 61 minutes. Lastly, we have learned that females are more inclined to experience high levels of sleep disturbance than males.


Changes in Mood


Many teenagers suffer from sleep deprivation as they spend long hours at night on their phones, and this, in turn, could affect grades as they will be tired and unfocused in school. Social media has generated a phenomenon known as "Facebook depression", which is a type of depression that affects adolescents who spend too much of their free time engaging with social media sites. "Facebook depression" leads to problems such as reclusiveness which can negatively damage ones health by creating feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem among young people. At the same time, a 2017 shown that there is a link between social media addiction and negative mental health effects. In this study, almost 6,000 adolescent students were examined using the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale. 4.5% of these students were found to be "at risk" of social media addiction. Furthermore, this same 4.5% reported low self-esteem and high levels of depressive symptoms.


UK researchers used a dataset of more than 800 million Twitter messages to evaluate how collective mood changes over the course of 24 hours and across the seasons. The research team collected 800 million anonymous Tweets from 33,576 time points over four years, to examine anger and sadness and compare them with fatigue. The "research revealed strong circadian patterns for both positive and negative moods. The profiles of anger and fatigue were found remarkably stable across the seasons or between the weekdays/weekend." The "positive emotions and sadness showed more variability in response to these changing conditions and higher levels of interaction with the onset of sunlight exposure."


Effects on Youth Communication


Social media has allowed for mass cultural exchange and intercultural communication. As different cultures have different value systems, cultural themes, grammar, and world views, they also communicate differently. The emergence of social media platforms fused together different cultures and their communication methods, blending together various cultural thinking patterns and expression styles.


Social media has affected the way youth communicate, by introducing new forms of language. Abbreviations have been introduced to cut down on the time it takes to respond online. The commonly known "LOL" has become globally recognized as the abbreviation for "laugh out loud" thanks to social media.


Another trend that influences the way youth communicates is the though the use of hashtags. With the introduction of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the hashtag was created to easily organize and search for information. Hashtags can be used when people want to advocate for a movement, store content or tweets from a movement for future use, and allow other social media users to contribute to a discussion about a certain movement by using existing hashtags. Using hashtags as a way to advocate for something online makes it easier and more accessible for more people to acknowledge it around the world. As hashtags such as #tbt ("throwback Thursday") become a part of online communication, it influenced the way in which youth share and communicate in their daily lives. Because of these changes in linguistics and communication etiquette, researchers of media semiotics have found that this has altered youth's communications habits and more.


Social media has offered a new platform for peer pressure with both positive and negative communication. From Facebook comments to likes on Instagram, how the youth communicate and what is socially acceptable is now heavily based on social media. Social media does make children and young adults more susceptible to peer pressure. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also shown that bullying, the making of non-inclusive friend groups, and sexual experimentation have increased situations related to cyberbullying, issues with privacy, and the act of sending sexual images or messages to someone's mobile device. On the other hand, social media also benefits the youth and how they communicate. Through the use of social media, children and young adults are able to keep in touch with friends and family, make more friends, participate in community engagement activities and services, expand on certain ideas with like-minded individuals, and many other countless tasks.


Further Materials:

Film/Video:


The American Meme

Follow Me


Reading:


Social Capital

Social Networks and Social Capital: Rethinking Theory in Community Informatics

Instagram, Social Media,and the “Like”: Exploring Virtual Identity’s Role in 21st Century Students’ New Socialization Experience -- Mary Code, B.A. (Hons.),B.Ed.