Effects of Mass Media Use On Young Adults

Kalista Mitrisin, News Director

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In today’s day and age, we are constantly introduced to new technological advancements within society. With the ever growing and ever changing world of technological advancement, social media has become a very prevalent feature within technology as well as the use of the internet. With the rise in technological advancements, and the convergence of mass media in today’s society, finding data on how media affects young generations mental health and psychosocial function is essential. 

Because of the technological advancements and appeal in media that appear in  younger generations cultural welfare, it is vital to understand how and why mass media affects mental health and stability as well as social standings in younger generations. Our younger generation is comprised of those born in the time period of 1995-2012, and is known as Generation Z. Through an article published in Psychology Today, studies have been published which found negative correlation between digital technology and mental health.

 

There was a similar study done which examined how social media use and depressive symptoms relate in youths over several years. The study found that adolescent girls with depressive symptoms are predicted to use social media more. This gives an idea of how lower moods can result and lead to more social media consumption. Beyond mental health, mass media has been determined to have multiple effects on behavioral patterns. The Scientific American Mind observes and elaborates on the development of various psychological problems due to social media and immersion in the digital world.

Through an observational study done to further analysis of the behavioral effects of media, Psychology Today  introduces a 13 year old girl who threw a violent rage after her parents had taken away access to her social media. The girl was first described as a sweet, happy, loving girl. After her media addiction had grown, and her parents had noticed the excessive amounts of time spent online, they restricted her use, leading to the violent and rage-like behavior. Once her privileges were revoked, the girl screamed in despise “I’m going to kill you while you both are asleep”. This experience was used as a framework highlighting the growing need for accessibility to technology within younger adolescents. This observational study shows evidence that social media immersion in the digital world can be contributing factors in the development of an array of psychological problems. 

Mass media can have multiple effects on an adolescents mental health, as well as their behavior and social status. Several studies indicate negative correlations between media usage and  development within mental and behavioral characteristics. Heavy use of mass media within young generations can cause mental health constraints, including FoMo and loneliness. In addition, there is a relationship between negative behavioral patterns and media use in young adolescents. The usage of mass media has shown multiple risk factors indicating negative shifts in both behavior and mental health stature. Understanding and evaluating how media affects our younger generations is crucial to understand how and in what ways it will affect the future state of Generation Z.