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