How Social Media Platforms Impact College Students’ Mental Well Being

All I Want For Christmas


All I Want For Christmas

Ana Johnson, Kennesaw, Georgia

Author: Ana Johnson 

How social media platforms have contributed to college students’ mental well-being

As Kennesaw State University junior Aaliyah Charles has thought back on her current semester, she believes the most challenging part of her academic year has been balancing schoolwork while maintaining interpersonal relationships.

According to a study by Anja Stevic, “In terms of the quality of close relationships, Valkenburg and Peter (2007) found that online communication has a positive effect on friendship quality through the increased time spent with friends because partners in online communication are mostly close ties.”

Charles finds it essential to make meaningful public connections to further her career path but can also feel overly distracted by consuming too much media.

“I have been able to learn from many people and resources that benefit my academic knowledge. However, an overload of information can cause me stress,”  she said.

Within recent years, social media has skyrocketed in importance in people’s lives. Whether they use it to stay in touch with friends and family, share accomplishments, or upload aesthetic photos, social media culture significantly impacts our world. It makes people acquire more knowledge than ever before.

According to Experian Simmons, “98% of college students use social media on a daily basis.” This stems from the many internal and external difficulties that are accompanied when entering college. This can include new learning/teaching environments, pressure from studying, networking with other peers, time management, and budgeting.

A primary platform that has increased in wide popularity is TikTok. The short form video application presents a fast-paced algorithm that reels in its audience fairly quickly.

“I use TikTok as Google,” said Diana Romero, a sophomore at Kennesaw State University. “If I have a question, I’ll search for it on that app. At the same time, it has negatively impacted me because my attention span has decreased.”

Romero believes many other users like herself have expressed concerns that these platforms have been affecting their studies.

Other media platforms, such as Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, BeReal, and YouTube, are extremely prominent in our culture, especially in the United States. Almost every part of our livelihoods have been transferred to online platforms, and it can be easy to become addicted and block out your current reality.

Mia Baker, a sophomore at Kennesaw State University, feels the influence in her social media use is most reflected in her academic well-being.

“I often forget to complete assignments based on spending excessive time on these platforms.” she said.

One essential aspect to highlight is face-to-face communication versus electronic communication. These tools both display ways to build close-knit support and assistance to keep individuals interconnected.

However, with the pandemic, we all had difficulty socializing. Social media was at the forefront of our lives to get us together and persevere through difficult situations.

“I recognize how social media has also impacted the connection between these elements in my lifestyle,” Baker said. “It has truly helped me keep up with my friends as it can give us something to talk about, and I can see if they have done anything new, as well with my family.”