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AN INVESTIGATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE AND ITS EFFECT ON USERS’ MENTAL HEALTH IN NIGERIA

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AN INVESTIGATION ON  SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE AND ITS EFFECT ON USERS’ MENTAL HEALTH IN NIGERIA


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background To The Study

Social media, which is also referred to as social networking, has become the most widely used method of communication and interaction among individuals of all ages across the globe as a result of ongoing technological progress. A variety of technological platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, and others, facilitate communication and the exchange of content via social media (SM) (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). According to research on the increasing prevalence of social media usage, almost one-tenth of Americans are active users of social media platforms. Specifically, 68% of the population utilises Facebook, 21% utilises Twitter, 25% utilises Pinterest, and 26% utilises Instagram (Greenwood et al., 2018). According to statistical data, the quantity of time individuals dedicate to social media platforms is considerably elevated. Social media interaction consumes 28% of the average time spent on the internet (Huang, 2018).

The use of social media is accompanied by a number of advantages. The benefits encompass a range of initiatives, such as fostering mental health awareness and destigmatization, providing supplementary access to resources, and facilitating a platform for users to connect with one another about their mental health symptoms (Lattie et al., 2019). Furthermore, social media has the potential to function as a constructive platform for mitigating the obstacles that people from various contexts may encounter when coping with a mental health diagnosis (Andrews et al., 2018). On the contrary, numerous studies in the literature establish a correlation between the utilisation of social media and a range of psychiatric disorders—such as anxiety, depression, and diminished self-esteem (Lin et al., 2016; Pantic, 2014). Social media users may be subjected to harassment, humiliation, and adverse reactions in response to their content. Furthermore, the comparison of one's life satisfaction and self-image to that of other users may cause distress for these individuals (Belluomini, 2015). Moreover, negative social media behaviours, such as browsing through negative content, can lead to mood swings, depression, and social isolation (Belluomini, 2015).

Given the exponential growth of social media usage in the past decade, it is critical to evaluate the potential psychological repercussions of social media. Concerning the mental health repercussions of social media, mental health professionals have thus far taken minimal action. Furthermore, the knowledge and readiness of mental health clinicians to address the detrimental effects of excessive social media usage on their clients' mental well-being have been the subject of scant investigation.

The substantial increase in mental health symptoms caused by social media's influence on mental health complicates the provision of social services at the micro level. As an increasing number of social media users present with symptoms such as anxiety, melancholy, and low self-esteem, there is a corresponding demand for more service providers. Providers of mental health services must be cognizant of the influence of social media on mental health in order to assist those impacted by this matter more effectively. Additional training is also required to address the assessment of social media use and its potential mental health consequences. A greater comprehension of the consequences of social media usage will result in treatment for clients that is more efficient and effective.(Panttic, 2014; Lin et al., 2016).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Although the increase in social media usage is indisputable, the effects of frequent use are the subject of numerous contradictory opinions. From an optimistic standpoint, Levy (2015) asserts that social media participation aids in the development of critical knowledge and social skills in adolescents and motivates them to become engaged members of society who generate and distribute content. This is corroborated by the claim that social validation, such as that which social media platforms offer, is a vital element in the life of an individual (Miller, 2018). Sutton (2013) posits that individuals who engage in regular updates to their social media profiles purportedly observe a rise in self-awareness and self-esteem.

Nevertheless, there is growing support for the notion that excessive utilisation of these platforms could be detrimental to one's mental health due to the fact that an intense immersion in the digital world can induce depression in certain users (Nyasaland, Grande, Brennner, & Elwy, 2014). This underscores the necessity for a more comprehensive comprehension of the ways in which this ubiquitous social media usage impacts the mental health and overall well-being of individuals.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The study's main goal is to examine social media usage and its effect on users’ mental health in Nigeria using youths in Lagos state as a case study. The study specifically attempted to:

1.Determine the extent of social media usage among youths in Lagos state

2.Determine whether there is a significant relationship between social media usage and the mental health of youths

3.Ascertain the effect of social media experience on the mental health of youths in Lagos state.

1.4   Research Questions:

The study will be guided by the following questions;

1.What is the extent of social media usage among youths in Lagos state?

2.Is there a significant relationship between social media usage and the mental health of youths?

3.What is the effect of social media experience on the mental health of youths in Lagos state?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: There is no significant relationship between social media usage and the mental health of youths.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between social media usage and the mental health of youths.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The significance of the proposed study stems from the paucity of research on the responses of mental health professionals to the impact of increased social media use on mental health. As a result of the observation of a technological society, the mental health effects of excessive social media use on clients have come into question. In light of the ongoing transition towards a digital society, mental health professionals must be equipped to assess clients for potential adverse consequences associated with excessive use of social media. The implications of the study's results for the social services sector will be evident as they pinpoint deficiencies in treatment planning, assessment, and service delivery concerning the influence of social media on mental well-being. A clinician's approach to assessing the client's concerns and devising a treatment plan to address treatment objectives may be revised in light of the findings. While the primary focus of this research is the micro-level (specifically, the interaction between clinicians and clients), the results could potentially have a broader impact on social service provision by prompting the revision of policies and accessibility measures concerning social media platforms.

1.7 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this study boarders on social media usage and its effect on users’ mental health in Nigeria.

1.8 Limitation Of The Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Social Media: they are forms of electronic communication which facilitate interactive base on certain interests. Social media include web and mobile technology.

Social Networking Sites: A website where people put information about them and can send to others.

Mental health: a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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