Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dan Florrell

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Theresa M. Nowak

Department Affiliation


Third Advisor

Richard Osbaldiston

Department Affiliation



Communication in today’s world is rapidly changing, some suggest for the better, while some suggest it is for the worse. Networking for the adolescent perspective has social media platforms at an all time high. The amount of face-to-face communication between adolescents has been replaced with outlets such as Instagram and Snapchat. Although this is another form of communication, it often faces challenges to whether this outlet is detrimental to the adolescent’s mental health or a positive chance for interacting with peers. Anxiety, depression and fear of missing out (FoMO) are three major mental health concerns that correlate with social media in previous literature. Instagram and Snapchat being two popular social media networks have different ways they can be used. The three main forms of usage are browsing, broadcasting/active posting, and frequent liking. These three forms all hold different proximities as to how adolescents use their social media, with that being said, our research is showing that they all hold different as well to how they affect the mental health of the adolescent. Browsing showing a higher positive correlation with depression. Broadcasting/active posting producing a higher positive correlation with anxiety. Lastly, adolescents who use Snapchat with a high emphasis on snapstreaks produce higher positive correlations with FoMO. Our study was unable to produce data due to limitations from the Covid-19 pandemic.