Youth Insight About Social Media Effects on Well/Ill-Being and Self-Modulating Efforts

J Adolesc Health. 2022 Sep;71(3):324-333. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2022.04.011. Epub 2022 Jun 9.


Purpose: We aim to investigate youth insight about how their social media use affects them. We hope to understand if and how they self-modulate their use.

Methods: Using a text message-based platform, codable survey responses were returned by a minimum of 871 of 1,144 youth aged 14-24 in November, 2020. Youth were asked the following three questions: (1) What advice would you give to young people who are new to social media? (2) Have you ever felt like you need to change your social media use (what you view, time spent, etc.)? Why? (3) Have you ever deleted or thought about deleting your social media account(s)? Why? A codebook was created from the data and two coders independently coded the entirety of the data set using the 18-code codebook. Coders resolved discrepancies in coding patterns together and the frequency of each code was recorded.

Results: Youth showed insight about negative impacts of social media and were especially concerned about safety on social media. A majority of respondents deleted or thought about deleting their social media account or app. Youth were more likely to report wanting to change the amount of time spent on their social media compared to the content they view.

Discussion: Youth are aware of ways in which social media could be negatively impacting them and they have employed methods to modulate their use because of this awareness.

Keywords: Insight; Mental health; Social media; Youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Humans
  • Social Media*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Text Messaging*