Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Megan Byrd


Social media is widely used in users’ daily lives and is deeply embedded in the world of technology. Cellular devices and their applications have shown primarily negative effects on individuals’ lives. Studies have shown a lower self-esteem in young adults addicted to their smartphone (Aznar-Díaz, et al., et al. 2020). Another study highlighted the reactions to creating one’s own content versus the implications of consuming content. Individuals who created more than they consumed reported a higher level of self-esteem (Hygen, et al., 2021). While there were many studies regarding social media and wellness of young adults, there were gaps in research designed to find a way to make social media have the best impact on one's life as possible. The purpose of this study was to find commonalities among the positive and negative relationships of social media to improve user experience with such applications as it relates to their daily lives. Findings included several themes regarding the positive and negative uses of social media. Participants reported stronger relationships, increased sense of self, and better experiences in using social media when curating their feed and following pages that post meaningful content. On the other hand, participants also reported the downsides of social media, which include comparing themselves to others, hyper accessibility to toxic posts and news reports, and seeking external validation from others.