The Negative Effect of Social Media on Aristotle’s “Good Life”:

Psychological, Sociological, and Philosophical Perspectives

Douglas Hayden Wilson

Mentored by Dr. Christopher Neumann/Department of Honors and Department of English and Theatre


Social media networks have a negative impact on society. Advocates of social media contend that organizational convenience, accessibility to information, and ease of communication are positive factors which benefit the user and overcome its negative effects. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact social media has on users to see if the results are reflective of a society living Aristotle’s “good life.” To do this, the paper examines social media users’ vulnerability to ills such as the erosion of privacy rights, cyberbullying, internet addiction, amplified tribalism, and the abridgement of interpersonal relationships to determine whether this corrosion impairs their “happiness.” The terms “happiness” and “good life” are used synonymously herein in the same manner Aristotle used them in Nicomachean Ethics. Review of psychology, sociology, and philosophy literature supported the thesis hypothesis that the deleterious psychological and sociological impact social media has on individuals makes it difficult for them to live Aristotle’s “good life.” Thus, this thesis concludes that users should be cautioned against misuse or overuse of social media due to the potentially harmful impact on their psychological well-being, self-esteem, and happiness.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2018


Christopher J. Neumann

Mentor Professional Affiliation

English and Theatre

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Philosophy and Religion