Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Dr. Heather Terrell


Since its emergence, social media has evolved quickly and to become more widespread year by year (Pew Research Center, 2021). Along with the steady increase of social media use, there has also been a steady increase in depression in the United States, especially in those aged 12-17 (Mental Health America, 2022). This purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between social media and mental health by replicating a study conducted by Shensa and colleagues (2017) that investigated the relationship between social media use and depression in U.S. young adults, but also to include measures of fear of missing out (FOMO) and social media purpose as additional variables. Participants completed an online survey containing five different questionnaires measuring social media daily usage and frequency, social media purpose, social media disorder symptoms, depression symptoms, and fear of missing out symptoms. Pearson’s correlations were conducted to analyze the associations between variables. First, there were significant positive associations between social media disordered use, depression symptoms, and fear of missing out symptoms. Next, when focusing on the top three most used platforms among participants (Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok), minutes spent per day on all platforms were found to be significantly related to social media disorder symptoms, while minutes spent per day on Snapchat and TikTok were also found to be significantly corelated with fear of missing out. Future research should further explore the relationships among depression, social media use, and fear of missing out to better understand how the variables relate to one another and whether any mediational relationships are present.