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How does social media help students cope with everyday hassles and stressors?

Richards, Sara (2018) How does social media help students cope with everyday hassles and stressors? UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Social media has vastly grown in recent years, and has turned into a coping strategy for some individuals. This qualitative study explores the uses of social media as a coping strategy for students when experiencing everyday hassles and stressors. Eight undergraduate students based in the United Kingdom were interviewed about their social media use using semi-structured interviewing. Participants were recruited using opportunity sampling, where individuals were told they had to use social media networks, and the interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Three main overarching themes were found; the uses of social media, public and private, and individual reactions and actions. Findings suggest that the main uses of social media were communication, posting about their hassles, stressors and uplifts, and browsing the web for materials such as people they knew and celebrities’ posts and for entertainment. Also, findings found that there are two aspects to individuals’ social media platforms; their public profiles and posts, and their private forms. The reactions and actions were varied among the participants regarding the effects of ‘likes’ and followers on the individual’s mood/self-consciousness, and also using social media as a coping strategy.

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