Facebook: Fun or Folly?
Roselyn Thom
Lord Byng Secondary
Floor Location : S 075 H

Facebook: Fun or Folly?
Objective: The goal was to look at the social media usage patterns that correlate to poor mental health outcomes in teenagers aged 13-18 years.
Motivation: Over 70 percent of teenagers use social media daily. Previous research has shown that teens who spends large amounts of time on social media tend to exhibit symptoms of depression. Specific aspects of social media use such as privacy settings, most frequent activity on social media, and frequency of posts on social media have not been well-studied in the teenage age-group. It is important to find the social media usage patterns that correlate to poor mental health outcomes in order to give teens specific and easy-to-follow advice on how to reduce mental health risks on social media.
Methods: A closed-answered survey was designed to determine details about participants’ use of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Specifically, questions asked about participants’ privacy settings, most frequent activity, how often they posted, and the amount of time they spend on the respective social media sites. Depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) scale, a validated scale for assisting the diagnosis of depression. Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, a validated scale for assessing self-esteem.
Results: Teenagers with more active social media usage patterns were linked to poor mental health outcomes, including higher rates of depression and lower rates of self-esteem.
Conclusion: The results of this study support the hypothesis that more active use of social media correlates to poor mental health outcomes in teens.