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Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become a popular tool for communication and networking, especially in teen and young adult populations. While social media can be a helpful tool for connecting with others, social media use by college students has also been linked to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem (Frost & Rickwood, 2017). Specifically, receiving a high frequency of negative comments on social media has been positively correlated with depressive symptoms (McCloskey et al., 2015), while the amount of time spent daily on social media has been identified as a significant predictor of anxiety symptom severity (Vanucci et al., 2017). However, previous research has focused on older platforms, especially Facebook, and has traditionally utilized variables like time spent online and number of friends (Frost & Rickwood, 2017). Our study expands this research by including some of the more popular platforms among today’s college students and looking specifically at online interactions. We will compare depression and anxiety scores in college students who have vs. have not experienced a social media interaction that they found distressing (e.g., an argument about politics). Furthermore, we will examine potential associations between mental health symptoms, amount of time spent on social media, and the most frequently used social media platforms. We hypothesize that students who report having experienced a distressing interaction on social media will score higher in anxiety and depression symptoms than those who have not.

Key words: Social media, depression, anxiety, mental health


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
15.2 MB



  • Subject
    • Psychological Science

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Poster Session

  • Event date
    • 26 March 2021

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Amanda Halliburton