--Original published at Ally'sCollegeBlog
Social media, and its affects on students, have been studied over the years. Does screen time increase the probability of depression? Is social media a good or bad thing? as well as thousands of other questions have been asked. A research team of five psychologists, have dipped their toes into the unknown waters. The team consists of Taylor Heffer, Owen Daly, and Elliott MacDonell of Brock University as well as Marie Good of Redeemer University College. Using longitudinal studies, or data collected over a period of time, the researchers were able to study a group of people for the course of two years. They took students from sixth grade to freshmen in college in Ontario, Canada, and asked them a series of questions about their social media use. The researchers used two categories for these questions. One was weekend usage and the other, weekday. They then did a mental health assessment. They studied After studying the data, the team concluded that social media does not cause depression overtime in young adults or children. Some students might have a different outcome than this because of their environment or preexisting mental health. Of course this is a new field of research so this data may be contradicted in the future. It can be very difficult to examine any unknown factors and variables.
I always like diving deep into the subjects I research and that can be very beneficial in the long run. You can see both sides of an argument and get a more scientific outlook. Many news sites, such as buzzfeed, have short articles and the pages are filled with advertisements rather than factual information. I respect journalists because their job is so rigorous. Between having to sift through the information and trying to formulate an article in simple terms, it can be extremely difficult to come to correct conclusions and have an unbiased stance. I found the same hardship when writing my story. I tried to keep my article short and sweet because there was so much complex psychology terms and subjects that are difficult to but into simpler words. I never thought it would be that difficult but because of the word minimum, I was torn with what to include. Some information was too hard to explain, it was too scientific to understand.
I did not include specific information about the study such as how they obtained their participants. I had to excluded their search for the participants because it was too lengthy to include. I also excluded their full findings. There was a lot of mathematics and correlation studies that I left out because I thought it was too complex and not easily understandable. There were so many numbers, variables, and schematics that I did not even really understand. Other than those few pieces, I did not leave out anything super important. Of course the original study was fifteen pages I had a paragraph, but the majority of that paper is what I said I left out.
I found that this was a very difficult assignment because I like including details and expanding on things I have wrote about. I have a lot of more sympathy for journalists because it is their job to dive into the information and sift through it. I have taken a lot from this assignment. My mindset has shifted and I know understand what journalists, editors, and anyone who has to write about a lengthy subject. I am very happy that this assignment is included in our curriculum because it can shift someone’s mindset and help open the door to journalism. Without this blog post and the other previous writing assignments, I would not understand what journalists go through.
Mikulak, Anna. Data Shows No Evidence That Teens’ Social Media Use Predicts Depression Over Time, January 30, 2019, https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/afps-dsn013019.php
Heffer, Taylor, et al.
“The Longitudinal Association Between Social-Media Use and Depressive Symptoms
Among Adolescents and Young Adults: An Empirical Reply to Twenge Et Al.
(2018).” Clinical Psychological Science, 2019, pp. 1-9., doi:10.1177/2167702618812727