The Effects of Social Media

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By Gina Riccardi and Mira Hutcheson

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Abstract

Our science project was about the effects social media has on mental health and sleep. We created a survey for our classmates to take which included questions about what social media people have/how long they spend on it, mental health, and sleep. We combined all the information and created charts for most of the questions which help us understand the data. We also had Mira limited her screen time for a week to see if she could find a difference. She said she felt better because she was getting more sleep and she was able to spend more time with her family. She also felt happier and felt less stress because she wouldn’t get distracted by it as often.  [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyT2FuZEklMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Object and Inquiry

In this year’s science fair project, we set out to discover the effects social media has of people’s wellbeing. The object of our study is social media and the inquiry is how it effects people’s wellbeing.  [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVG9ySCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmElM0U=[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]

Hypothesis

Our hypothesis is that social media negatively effects our sleep, stress, and overall wellbeing. I think people get distracted and spend time on their phone and don’t get enough sleep which causes them to be tired. I think there is a lot of pressure on social media too which causes bad mental health. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUldVJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Research Write Up

Background knowledge:
I know how social media effects peoples focus because I often find myself get distracted while trying to do my homework. I also know that social media can effect sleep schedule because sometimes I get distracted and loose track of time. I think social media has some pros because it helps people stay informed and learn about recent events.
I have some prior knowledge on social media and its effects on people’s wellbeing, but I want to learn more. I know that it can be a controversial subject because its something that has many pros and cons, but I want to come up with my own decision. I know that it can negatively affect our sleep, stress, focus and happiness but can it also have benefits? I hope to learn more and answer more of my questions.
Research summary:
We leaned about some pros and cons to social media that effect both mental and physical health. We learned that some pros to social media are: it can connect people, it entertains people, and it encourages young adults to make a change. We also learned some cons, which are: it can be addictive, it secludes people from the real world, there is cyberbullying which triggers depression and sadness, and it leads to us comparing ourselves with others. We also wanted to discover what the social media “audience” is or who uses social media. We found out that snapchat and Instagram are most popular between 18-24 year old’s, Facebook is the most common among all ages, and YouTube is the most used for ages 18-49. Statistics also show that social media usage has increased in the past year but decreased in the last two. We also found that social media shortens our attention span. And some effects of this are: fear of missing out, procrastination, and loss of focus. There are also some pros like: faster reaction time and learning to work faster. Another thing we learned was the average age range is 13-18 and kids should be allowed to have their own social media around the age of 12 because kids have learned to think in both concrete and abstract ways. Another source explains how social media makes individuals isolated because they see other people out having fun and smiling. Research also shows that social media usage has not changed in the past four years and usage is beginning to even out between young adults and middle aged people. Some more pros to social media are: you can communicate with people all over the world, it gives real time news, and it helpful for business owners. But some other cons are: there are privacy issues, it creates distractions, and it disrupts sleep.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVGFuZE0lMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tools and Materials

  • Paper
  • Computer
  • Social media
    Variables:
    Independent variable: social media’s effect
    Dependent variable: different things about the people being surveyed: age, gender, ect./sleep and well being
    Control: normal usage 

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Procedure and Data

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Journal

February 3- Gave MR. O our ideas
February 4- Didn’t have science, and didn’t work on it
February 5- Reached out to influencers
February 6- We worked on our object and inquiry
February 7- Finished object and inquiry
February 8 – Didn’t work on it
February 9 – Didn’t work on it
February 10 – Didn’t work on it
February 11 – Didn’t work on it
February 12 – Worked on research project
February 13 – Didn’t work on it
February 14 – Finished research project
February 15 – Didn’t work on it
February 16 – Didn’t work on it
February 17 – Didn’t work on it
February 18 – Didn’t work on it
February 19 – Didn’t work on it
February 20 – Didn’t work on it
February 21 – Didn’t work on it
February 22 – Didn’t work on it
February 23 – Worked on hypothesis
February 24 – Didn’t work on it
February 25 – Didn’t work on it
February 26 – Turned in hypothesis
February 27 – Worked on tools and materials
February 28 – Turned in tools and materials
February 29 – Didn’t work on it
March 1 – Didn’t work on it
March 2 – Didn’t work on it
March 3 – Worked on action plan
March 4 – Turned in action plan
March 5 – Wrote surveys
March 6 – Took class surveys
March 7- Didn’t work on it
March 8 – Didn’t work on it
March 9 – Looked at surveys and collected data
March 10 – Didn’t work on it
March 11– Turned data into graphs
March 12- Made sure everything was up to date
March 13- Journal check up
March 14- Didn’t work on it
March 15- Didn’t work on it
March 16- Didn’t work on it
March 17 -Didn’t work on it
March 18- Didn’t work on it
March 19- Didn’t work on it
March 20- Worked on our first draft of our research paper
March 21- Didn’t work on it
March 22- Didn’t work on it
March 23- Didn’t work on it
March 24- Finished research paper
March 25- Turned in research paper
March 26- Didn’t work on it
March 27- Didn’t work on it
March 28- Didn’t work on it
March 29- Didn’t work on it
March 30- Didn’t work on it
March 31- Worked on data analysis
April 1- Didn’t work on it
April 2- Didn’t work on it
April 3- Didn’t work on it
April 4- Didn’t work on it
April 5- Didn’t work on it
April 6- Didn’t work on it
April 7- Didn’t work on it
April 8- Started our PowerPoint
April 9- Didn’t work on it
April 10- Didn’t work on it
April 11- Didn’t work on it
April 12- Didn’t work on it
April 13 – Didn’t work on it
April 14-Worked on data analysis
April 15- Didn’t work on it
April 16- Didn’t work on it
April 17- Didn’t work on it
April 18- Didn’t work on it
April 19- Worked on power point
April 20- Mira started a week of limited screen time and social media usage
April 21- Mira limited her screen time
April 22- Mira limited her screen time
April 23- Mira limited her screen time
April 24- Mira limited her screen time
April 25- Mira limited her screen time
April 26- Didn’t work on it
April 27- Didn’t work on it
April 28- Finished up our PowerPoint
April 30- Didn’t work on it
April 31- Finished up all the finishing touches
May 1- Turned in the final assignmen
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Procedure

We started off our project by doing some research on how social media effects sleep and how many people use it. When we gathered that information so we would have some background knowledge before we started. We created a survey with seven questions about what social media people have, how long they are on it, how much they sleep, and stress. We passed this survey out to our classmates and it took them about two minutes to complete. We then looked at all the surveys and started creating graphs for most of the questions. Mira also limited her screen time for a week to see if there were ant changes. She said she was happier because she was able to spend more time with her family and focus on things she enjoys.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyRGFuZEElMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Data and Analysis

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Results and Conclusion

After the experiment on social media usage, the data and our experience led us to conclude that social media has negative effects on our sleep, stress and overall, well-being. Social media is an addictive habit that causes us to spend more time on it rather than things we need to get done. We have learned from personally experience that limiting our social media usage helps us get more sleep, stay less stressed and make us overall happier people. Mira limited her screen time for a week and noticed that she fell asleep a lot faster because she wasn’t sitting on her phone, had more time to work on school and sports which made her less stressed about due dates, and had more time to spend with her family. In conclusion we think that limiting your screen can make you a generally happier person. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIySWFuZFIlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Insights and Reflections

Gina-
From this experiment I have learned that social medias effect depends on the person because some people get distracted and others do not let it impact them. I think social media affects most people because of all the pressure put on people from social media. I also think it is a big distraction that can cause lack of sleep which can lead to stress. I think people’s mental health would be better if everyone could spend less time on social media.
Mira-
The results of this project have led me to wonder whether social media has more positive or negative effects on our society? Before this project I thought that social media has only negative effects, but in fact it has enabled us to do a lot of things that we couldn’t before. I think the best way to get the best out of social media is balance. I think that the reason people hate on social so much is because they aren’t balancing it enough with other things in their lives. After going a week with limiting my social media usage I learned to implicate a healthy balance of social media, school, sports, and fun. I think that this experiment could not have gone better, I think we did a great job targeting all factors that social media has. We worked great together and managed our time wisely.
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Bibliography

Perrin, Andrew, and Monica Anderson. “Share of U.S. Adults Using Social Media, Including Facebook, Is Mostly Unchanged since 2018.” Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, April 10, 2019. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/10/share-of-u-s-adults-using-social-media-including-facebook-is-mostly-unchanged-since-2018/. – This is a good source because it is a research page and it has evidence and charts to back up its I formation. It is also a good source because it written by experts rather than a bias blog.

“Social Media and Sleep.” Tuck Sleep. Accessed March 2, 2020. https://www.tuck.com/social-media-and-sleep/. . – This is a reliable source because it is research done by professionals put neatly in the article. Its also a good source because it addresses anticipated questions so the reader isn’t left confused.
Hou, Zontee, Lauren Teague, Anna Hrach, Jamie Griffiths, Anna Hrach, and Jamie Griffiths. “Social Media Usage Statistics for 2019 Reveal Surprising Shifts.” Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting. Accessed March 2, 2020. https://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-research/social-media-usage-statistics/.

Howard, Jacqueline. “What’s the Age When Kids Start Social Media?” CNN. Cable News Network, June 22, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/22/health/social-media-for-kids-parent-curve/index.html. -This is a good souse because its written by a trusted brand, where we know that it is all correct. It also has apps, shows and any other branches of news and research to help verify its true.

LitsaFollowSocial, Tereza, and Tereza LitsaSocial. “How Social Media Affects Your Attention Span.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 2, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140519183028-114333012-how-social-media-affects-your-attention-span. -We aen’t sure if this is the best source because we Don’t know if it’s a blog. However, based on what we have read the information haw proven helpful and it was a good website to compare to other ones.

“Social Media’s Impact on Students’ Mental Health Comes Into Focus.” NEA Today, October 3, 2018. http://neatoday.org/2018/09/27/social-media-impact-on-students-mental-health/. – This is a good source because it had information that seemed to relate to the other sources, but also showed other ways at looking at the data. It also seemed trustworthy by the `name of tehwebsite, although we had no prior experience with this website, the name National Eductaion Aciosites seemed like a respectable brand.

Moreau, Elise. “The Good and the Bad About Social Networking.” Lifewire. Lifewire, November 8, 2019. https://www.lifewire.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-social-networking-3486020 – Although we are usure if this is a comletly reliable source or not, it still showed valid arguments that were important and helpful to our project. We thought it was helpful how it showed not only the negative effects of social media, but also the positive.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyRkFRJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_toggle title=”Frequently Asked Questions”]Q: “Were you surprised by any of the survey answers?” 

A: We were not very surprised, because we already knew that society was struggling with finding a balance of social media and the other factors in their life.

Q: “How can you find a healthy balance?”
A: Just like anything in life you can’t pour all your time into one subject or you will burn out and up with more problems than your started out with.[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][/vc_row]