Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Andrew Lindner

Keywords

Communications, depression, interaction, internet, loneliness, media, mental health, social media, social media usage

Abstract

Over the past decade, there has been a rapid growth of social media. Much of the problem lies with the new potential for constant social comparisons. Social media also adds a new layer of interaction that can occur anywhere, at any time, with anyone. This allows for a higher quantity of relationships, but strips the depth of these relationships. Does increased social media use affect quality of life? I hypothesize that the more social media sites a respondent is a member or regular user of, the more time he or she reports feeling depressed or lonely. I used a sample of 628 respondents as part of in-person interviews conducted by the 2016 General Social Survey. The results found that overall about 51 percent of the people claimed to feel depressed or lonely none of the time. Meaning that about half of respondents do feel depressed or lonely at least some of the time. The most statistically significant finding revealed that the higher ones income, the less one reports feeling depressed or lonely. However, the hypothesis must be rejected because there is no statistical significance between social media usage and quality of life. Social media site usage does not result in increased feelings of depression or loneliness. Based on the income results, does money buy happiness? Those of lower socio-economic class may not have access to proper medical care and therefore do not get adequate treatment for mental illnesses. Structural forces might be having a direct impact.

DOI

10.17605/OSF.IO/J3AZW

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Sociology Commons

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