Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 3-10-2020

Document Type



Skrabal, L. J. 2020. The Social Media Worldview is My Worldview: The Effects of Social Media and Phone Use on Mental Health. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Logan Skrabal 2020.


Social media and problematic phone use are increasingly becoming integrated into everyday society, and while this has produced many benefits, studies have recently shown that these influences have had a negative impact on mental health. Many researchers have found an association between both social media and problematic phone use and negative mental health impacts such as increased loneliness and depression and decreased self-esteem. However, most of these studies have relied heavily on self-reported data and monitoring, and it is possible that these measures do not tell the whole story, as a significant misrepresentation can be seen when utilizing them. In this study, a new way of determining social media and phone use is employed.

This study utilizes Apple’s iOS Screen Time capability to provide observed data that properly and consistently documents social media and phone use, showing that there is a substantial overestimation of these metrics in comparison to accompanied self-reported data. Although previous literature has shown a negative relationship between social media and problematic phone use with mental health, the use of quantitative, observed data yielded no significant relationship between neither social media nor problematic phone use and negative impacts on mental health.