Social Media and Well-Being: Pitfalls, Progress, and Next Steps

Ethan Kross, Philippe Verduyn, Gal Sheppes, Cory K. Costello, John Jonides, Oscar Ybarra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Within a relatively short time span, social media have transformed the way humans interact, leading many to wonder what, if any, implications this interactive revolution has had for people's emotional lives. Over the past 15 years, an explosion of research has examined this issue, generating countless studies and heated debate. Although early research generated inconclusive findings, several experiments have revealed small negative effects of social media use on well-being. These results mask, however, a deeper set of complexities. Accumulating evidence indicates that social media can enhance or diminish well-being depending on how people use them. Future research is needed to model these complexities using stronger methods to advance knowledge in this domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Facebook
  • emotion
  • life satisfaction
  • online social networks
  • social media
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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