Patterns of Social Media Behaviors; Alison Tuck, MA

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Social media has become a large part of our everyday lives. As a society, we continue to devote an increasing amount of time to these online platforms, engaging with a wealth of information from our friends to celebrities, family members to politicians, cat videos to devastating world news. Increasing rates of social media use along with high rates of mental illness have led many researchers to begin examining how social media use and mental health may be related. Perhaps surprisingly, only a few consistent conclusions have been drawn in this area, leaving researchers and community members alike wondering if and how social media use may be affecting our mental health. This presentation will focus on a newly developed model of understanding social media use that categorizes social media behaviors into four broad patterns. Topics discussed will include an overview of what these four different patterns of social media behaviors are, how they have been observed to impact people’s emotions in the moment, and how they are shown to correlate with various components of psychological wellbeing.

Alison Tuck, M.A., is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research primarily examines the influence of social media on mental health. As a clinical scientist, she focuses on understanding the clinical implications of social media use, including identifying those at greatest risk for its negative consequences and what people can do to develop healthy social media habits. She hopes her research will guide strategies for clinicians and policymakers alike.

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