Today, more than ever, the world is connected to one another. Whether down the street or across continents, one’s personal information and social life is readily available. With so much of a person’s life available for the world to see, many young adults seem to suffer from issues of depression and lower self-worth than other previous generations. According to a study by Morrison & Gore, in which researchers used items from the Beck Depression Inventory and IA Test to determine a correlation between depression and excessive internet usage. With an estimated 75% of online adults using social media, as referenced in Pew Internet Research findings, does this level of connectivity and accessibility have an adverse effect on those who use it most?
In the Pew research, minorities (those who identify themselves as non-white or, at times, non-heterosexual) accounted for the majority of social users. However, not all social media is used equally. In fact, African-Americans and Hispanics were notably more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to use the photo sharing application, Instagram. (Brenner, pg.6). With such an influential, minority presence on these social media sites, the concept of congnitive well-being, or life satisfaction, is brought into question. (Kross, pg.1). Cognitive well-being can be anlyized by beginning a discussion on usage and if this higher usage can create a sort of addictive, and detrimental, habit in minorities.
Due to prior comparative studies and various other studies, we are left questioning if social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have a correlating effect on the emotional and mental well-being on its users, specifically, those who identify with minority groups. Based off of my research of current publications, it is becoming increasingly evident, as suggested in Morrison & Gore, that a major motivator for social media consumption can be the need for community for the Millennial groups (Morrison, pg. 123). This study will examine, in depth, different theories surrounding depression and well-being, life satisfaction, and social media usage in regards to minority users.
To add in my exploration into the effects of social media in the psyche of minorities, I looked at numerous current articles and studies that have been published that offer more insight. The first of these articles was an article in USA Today in regards to minority usage and preferences in social media. “Among black Internet users, 26% use Twitter, far outpacing whites (14%) and Hispanics (19%). In August 2011, 18% of black Internet users were using Twitter. Across all groups, younger and urban Twitter users outnumber their older and rural counterparts. But the usage rate generally held steady — around 14% to 17% — regardless of gender, education and income levels,” (Yu, 2013). This supports my earlier claim that minorities have, in fact become avid users, as well as consumers of social media websites and...