Social lives have a large impact on student’s overall well-being, with social media platforms as an integral part of this.
According to a 2018 Pew Research study, 72% of teenagers use Instagram, 69% use Snapchat and 51% use Facebook.
Widespread use of social media has become an addiction for some, Dhawan said.
“I think it’s adding undue stress because all you’re seeing is a snapshot of someone’s life,” he said.
In addition, viewing politically charged media also can increase stress, making it more difficult to fall asleep and worsening sleep quality, Dhawan said.
Due to COVID-19, more social interactions have been moved online.
“To hang out with your friends or do anything social, you’re basically online,” Boersma said.
He added that he spends a significant amount of his free time interacting with his friends, more so during senior year than previously. A lot of times, conversations late at night or early in the morning limit the amount of time he spends sleeping.
He often finds himself trying to fit that free time with his friends right before his bedtime.
During winter break, he tried to correct his sleep cycle, but he ended up staying up late, relaxing and talking with his friends, further worsening his sleep schedule.
“The big reason why I’m so screwed up is that I don’t have any free time,” Boersma said. “I stay up trying to talk to my friends. Sure, I could change it, but it’s at the cost of being social, which is a big issue during quarantine since you don’t actually see anyone.”