Major

Marketing

Advisor

Ashley, Christy

Advisor Department

Marketing

Date

5-2017

Comments

We have plenty of studies based on the effects of Social Media on our lifestyles, but less on our day to day well-being in relation to this media. During this project I evaluated my personal use on social media over the course of three weeks. The first week, "Ordinary Social Media Usage", the second week "No Social Media Usage", and finally "Social Media Usage 2.0". I tracked my hours and application usage on my mobile device via the iOS application, "Moment".

Following the reflective three weeks, I sent out a survey to my peers (all within the millennial target audience) looking to evaluate their perceptions on their own well-being and importance of their interpersonal relationships. Using Pearson Correlations, I determined my outcomes and takeaways.

You may ask, in a world where we are constantly connected, how connected are we? My suggestion, take a 1-2 day detox per week from social media platforms. Doing so, can increase mindfulness of your weekly usage. During my experience, I felt stronger interpersonal connections and less of a need to stay virtually connected. Upon the completion of this study I recognized my habit of checking my phone is related to having a phone itself, so turn off your notifications and enjoy the surrounding world!

Keywords

Interpersonal Relationships, Engagement, Social Media, Life Habits, Millennials

Abstract

Social media in today’s world is common amongst millennials (trend-setting young adults born 1980-2002) as a source of news and networking. Social media has yielded benefits, including the ability to connect with geographically dispersed, like-minded individuals for entertainment, employment opportunities, or to engage in activism. However, the popularity of social media, as well as the frequency of its use, raises questions about its effects on our lifestyles, habits, and interpersonal relationships. Despite its benefits, social media usage may have a darker side. Extreme cases involving addiction, fake news, identity theft, cyber-bullying, and other criminal activities have received some attention. Less is known about the effects of day-to-day social media choices on quality of life. This project uses secondary and primary research with millennials to study how social media engagement affects life habits, achievement of social goals, and the development and health of interpersonal relationships. It aims to answer two research questions:

1. How does the level of engagement in social media (frequency of use, energy invested in use) relate to other life habits?
2. How does engagement in social media help people accomplish interpersonal relationship goals? How does it interfere with relationship goals?

The simple answer may be that, like many behaviors that have benefits, managing a social media presence is about moderation and balance. However, finding balance is easier said than done, especially if we fail to recognize the potential harm associated with a behavior and we find the behavior rewarding.