Does Social Media Negatively Affect Your Mental Health?

Student: Fei-Fei Wang
Table: 10
Experimentation location: School
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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Additional Project Information

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Research paper:
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Project files:
Project files

Research Plan:

Our research plan is to make a google form with questions centered around how people feel about their relationship with screens and social media. The questions in our form will be:

  • What is your grade level? (To find out if grade level can affect our answer.) This one is multiple choice.
  • Do you have a phone? (To see the percentage of people with phones.) This one is multiple choice.
  • If you don't have a phone, do you have any other devices? (To find out what other devices can be used to access the media.) This one is multiple choice.
  • If you do have a device, what is your screen time on that device? (To find out an average screen time.) This one is multiple choice.
  • What is your most used app on your device? (This is to find out which app may be the most used.) This one is short answer.
  • What is your most used social media app? (This is to find out which social media app is the most popular.) This one is multiple choice, and we have many social media apps listed.
  • Rate how often you spend on your device. (This is to just get an idea of what people would rate themselves on their screen time.) This one is multiple choice.
  • Rate how you feel most days. (This is to get an idea on how someone would feel on a normal day.) This is multiple choice.
    We have made sure that all the responses will be anonymous, and that the questions aren't personal. We have also taken the time to fill out the project pre-certification.

We first did a test run with 15 students to see how the form would perform. We got the results back, and we were able to see that all the responses were anonymous, and that no emails or names were collected.

Our next step was to organize the data we collected from our poll and plan out our project. We will also be organizing the notes we have collected from online sources. We will make a bibliography of the different sources we used. We will be using Google Docs and Canva to organize our research. 

Lastly, after we have finished all the previous steps, we will draft, edit, and write out our text based on our evidence, and see if our hypothesis is correct or not. We will be adding artistic touches, and most likely making our project into an infographic or a tri-fold presentation.

Questions and Answers

1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it? 

       a. Was that goal the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem you encountered?  

The goal of the project is to bring more awareness to people, teens specifically, on their usage of electronic devices and how it affects them.

       b. Were you trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or test a hypothesis?

We wanted to test if and how social media changes our daily lives based on the experience of real people.

2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?

       a. For teams, describe what each member worked on.

Each member was responsible and flexible in their work. Whatever we did, we mostly did it together, although there seemed to be slightly different roles among us. One of us set up most of the background research, and another found the websites and verified reliable sources which were interconnected. Two of the people involved contributed many valuable ideas on how to go about our project, and one of our other team members organized the events and greatly helped answer questions to many applications in several different forms to allow us to continue our research. 

3. What is new or novel about your project?

       a. Is there some aspect of your project's objective, or how you achieved it that you haven't done before?

We have never sent out a Google Form before to do a research project. Not only that, but we had to fill out a form for precertification which was new to us. All in all, we think that it’s a great way to collect information and organize it for data.

       b. Is your project's objective, or the way you implemented it, different from anything you have seen?

Our project’s objective isn’t very different from anything we have seen. We have seen many projects where the team members will create a Google Form, and collect data from it. Our project’s objective was based on some of the articles we have read during our research, and a slideshow of potential ideas to do for the science fair. A team member in our group also contributed to the idea of our project, coming up with the idea to send out a Google Form.   

       c. If you believe your work to be unique in some way, what research have you done to confirm that it is?

We don’t believe that our work is unique in any way, and we just wanted to help our community realize and be more aware of their social media and screen use in general. We have seen many studies also conducted about this topic through our research.

4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?

      a. What problems did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?

A major problem we encountered was perfecting our google form, which was used for collecting data on teenage students. It was an obstacle to us because we had to make sure our form didn’t include biased questions that would alter the answers of those answering. We also had to ensure that we wouldn’t collect personal information or add personalized questions. Overcoming this was a bit difficult at first, but with help from experienced leaders, we were able to send out our form to several students. Searching the internet was also helpful because past studies helped us create our own form.

      b. What did you learn from overcoming these problems?

We learned much about how persistence and determination could bring us a long way. At first, adults and others suggested that we simply use other studies to create our project, but we kept at trying to create our form. Fortunately, we were successful. With permission after filling out a precertification form, we were able to collect information from teenagers in our community.

5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would you do differently the next time?

If we were to do this project again, we would probably conduct some more background research before creating our poll. This would’ve contributed to making our poll stronger and reliable.

6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects? 

This project helped a couple of our team members with an idea for their English project. It was an influential part of the idea to do their English project on attention spans. This idea was derived from the idea of how social media can affect people’s attention spans and mental health. This project inspired us to further our research and possibly dig deeper in the future. 

7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?

COVID-19 didn’t affect our project.