The Effect of Social Media Algorithms on the Mental Health of Adolescent Users

Le, Susan, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Elliott, Travis, University of Virginia

The world is becoming a much smaller place due to social media platforms increasing in popularity all around the world. But as this technology is spreading, these platforms are progressively getting into the hands of adolescents. Because the rational part of a teen’s brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, the risk of one's perception of self-worth and identity is at risk. The algorithms that are implemented on these platforms can perpetuate this phenomenon by using metrics of engagement to rank and curate feeds. The research portion of this project analyzes the potential issues of introducing social media at a young age, why, and possible solutions.

Database design is optimized in several areas for different contexts. This includes, but is not limited to, indexing and querying. Algorithmic decisions can optimize several of these areas but with trade-offs in others. The technical portion of this project aims to examine the influence of algorithms of databases in the form of a literature review. By analyzing many different documents, we can investigate and categorize them to determine which are most and least suited for each optimization. The efficiency can be evaluated by metrics such as time and space complexity and feasibility of implementation. Consolidating information about existing algorithmic efficacy reveals the areas of most significant potential for improvement.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
social media algorithms, social media algorithms, adolescents, mental health
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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