Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
Information Technology BS
Michelle F. McLeese, Ph.D.
Anthropology and Sociology
Social media use is prevalent and necessary in society—nearly anything can be accomplished with a mobile device or smartphone. Among the US population, two thirds of American adults admit to using social media (Perrin, 2015) and in 2022, Georgiev (2023) found Americans spent an average of two and a half hours daily on social media. Furthermore, social media use is tied to mental well-being, work confidence levels, and feelings of being an imposter (Johnson et al., 2020; Uram & Skalski, 2022; Hernandez & Chalk, 2021; Myers, 2021; Ramm, 2019).
This project examined the role of social media use among college students, their mental well-being, and reported decisions about major choice. Using the online survey platform Qualtrics, 74 college students were surveyed about their social media use, mental well-being, and career planning. They were also asked about the role of algorithms in social media use. Findings showed increased social media use decreased positive mental well-being but did not appear to influence career planning. Open ended text analyses indicated that most respondents did not understand what algorithms are, which can be problematic as algorithms shape social media feeds and may influence how social media users feel about themselves.
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Rowan, Spencer A., "The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health and Career Planning" (2023). Honors Theses. 886.