College students experience more stress and are more vulnerable to mental illness as compared to the general population. Both COVID-19 and social media usage have shown to be stressors that augment this pre-existing issue. The goal of the current study is to highlight the relationship between the social media usage and mental health of college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a correlational and longitudinal research design, undergraduate students completed self-report mental health and social media usage measures throughout the semester. Researchers found that both social media usage, anxiety, and depression levels were higher post-pandemic as compared to pre-pandemic. However, analyses also showed that social media usage was not a significant factor in the self-reported mental health levels of college students at the end of the semester. Future research should continue to study this relationship so we can gain a better understanding of the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Universities need to take the increase in mental health concerns on their campuses seriously and provide necessary support and resources for their students.
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Dominique, Claudia, "Social Media Usage during COVID-19: Friend or Foe?" (2022). Honors Theses. 349.