Subjective Well-being and Social Media Use in Emerging Adulthood: Findings from two UK University Millennial Cohorts

Title

Subjective Well-being and Social Media Use in Emerging Adulthood: Findings from two UK University Millennial Cohorts

Author

Daniele Doneddu, Frederic Boy, Gabriela Jiga-Boy, Gareth Davies

Classification JEL

M30, I31.

Abstract

The notion that engagement with social media platform reduces adolescents’ and young adults’ well-being has become a recurring feature in public and scientific discourses. The actual level of psychological and behavioural evidence, however, is in stark contrast with the certainty voiced by many commentators. There is little clear-cut evidence that social media engagement reduces adolescents’ & young adults’ wellbeing, and most conclusions are drawn from exploratory studies mainly focusing on the Facebook microblogging usage, a 15 years’ old functionality that British adolescents and young adults (18-25 years’ old) have, to date, abandoned en masse. The present research independently collected two nationally large-scale data sets from the British Isles (total N = 600 after data exclusions) and included detailed self-reports of social media use on numerous platforms. We used measures of subjective wellbeing and life satisfaction drawn from OECD surveys and assessed social cognitive dimensions (e.g., social comparison). The research makes use of both data mining tools and confirmatory designs to bring analytical improvements to a growing research area. We found robust evidence for several negative associations between social media engagement and adolescents’ and young adults’ well-being. Those findings on the behavioural consequences of social media usage raise further issues relevant to many actors in the community: for the academic researchers, for the technology industry, and also for the community organizers as any society has to understand how it is shaped by technological change. The present results are particularly relevant for making the most effective use of citizens’ engagement in future e-government systems.

Keywords

Well-being, Life satisfaction, Social media.

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Please cite this article as: etimm (2019) Subjective Well-being and Social Media Use in Emerging Adulthood: Findings from two UK University Millennial Cohorts. Journal of Emerging Trends in Marketing and Management. http://www.etimm.ase.ro/?p=566