Is social media damaging to student’s well-being?

A recent article was released by the BBC this month stating that a university was a facing a ‘social media switch off’. De Montfort wanted to highlight how the use of social media can be damaging to student’s well-being, (in some cases) severely affecting their mental health.

The University wanted to try a ‘digital detox’ to see the negative impact that engagement in social media can have on the students. The predicted result seemed it would be that the individuals didn’t want to come off social media completely instead just adapt the relationship they have with the sites.

The digital detox followed from a Wednesday through to the Monday. The Universities media platforms remained inactive, with them encouraging students to follow the same path. During that time there were many physical activities offered, free of charge in the hope it would encourage students to see what they are potentially missing out on by allowing social media to consume so of their much time. A study has shown a rise in social media use by those aged 16 to 24, who average 34.3 hours a week on the internet.

The whole experiment would have been eye-opening, revealing the dangers that social media platforms can have on people’s mental health- with supposedly direct links to increased narcissistic traits. A study at Swansea University claimed that “people who repeatedly post photos and videos of themselves online showed a 25% increase in narcissistic traits”.

Social media has various platforms in today’s society, with it now not necessarily being used for what it was traditionally intended for. The platforms are currently known to be used to recruit individuals, for employers to get a more personal insight into a potential employee and for businesses to increase their brand with them being able to reach a significant number of people. All of which are just examples of the many purposes of social media.

Is Social media more damaging than advantageous?