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19 - Community Impact of Social Media

from Part III - Community Psychology in Action

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2021

Caroline S. Clauss-Ehlers
Long Island University, New York
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We take a community psychology approach to understanding how social media affects community populations. Community psychology must always be advancing as the Internet and social media become more intertwined in users’ everyday lives. We consider the history of the rise in social media use, examining the timeline of different platforms and their purposes. The Internet is discussed as being a means of social interaction and connection, used to relate to others who share interests and experiences, or who are far away. Despite this, social media can negatively affect populations in terms of mental health. Increased use of cyberbullying has been linked with an increase in depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self harm, and suicidal ideation for those who are at risk. The term FoMO describes decreased life satisfaction as a result of inherent social comparisons online. On the other hand, social media platforms provide a helpful, supportive space for people to share their stories and knowledge. The literature on community psychology needs to incorporate greater focus on social media given its prominence in today’s society. The information, images, and representations we view affect our discourse regarding people, cultures, policies, and anything else that may affect individual lives.

The Cambridge Handbook of Community Psychology
Interdisciplinary and Contextual Perspectives
, pp. 390 - 412
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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