Social Media and the Psychosocial Well-Being of Youths in the Amathole District Municipality, South Africa
Keywords:social media, youth, rural areas, psychosocial well-being
The use of social media in the rural areas of South Africa is growing, with the youth being the prominent users. The growth of social media has incited a growing knowledge about impending forthcoming social events. However, there are concerns about mental illness, such as depression, owing to the increase in social comparison. There is a lack of literature on the use of social media in rural areas. The aim of this study was thus to investigate the effects of social media on the psychosocial well-being of the youth in selected rural areas of the Eastern Cape. The study was conducted in the Amathole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Using a qualitative research approach, 30 youths from the Amathole District Municipality were purposively sampled. The data were collected through in-depth interviews and analysed using a thematic analysis. The findings revealed that using social media has a negative bearing on the psychosocial well-being of the youth owing to the discrepancies between appearance, reality and expectations. Some youths use social media as a means of recreation whereas some use social media as a networking method. The study concluded that the extensive use of social media among the youth can lead to comparison and ultimately depression and, therefore, recommended awareness campaigns on the good use of social media so the youth benefit rather than become victims.
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