School of Communication and the Arts
Master of Arts in Strategic Communication (MA)
Instagram, Messages, Gen Z, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual
Hayes, Abigail Marie, "The Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual Well-Being of Gen Z: Perceived Social Media Messages" (2021). Masters Theses. 825.
Technology has rapidly interwoven itself into the life of an individual. Social media makes up a large part of technology, an ever-changing system of mediums that portray messages depending on the current events. The messages communicated on various social media platforms fundamentally alter Generation Z’s (Gen Z’s) emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. As technology progresses, the necessity of studying the impacts of mediums on Gen Z, digital natives, increases. A study was conducted on 46 Gen Z participants specifically on how they utilize the most popular social media platform for Gen Z–Instagram, to determine their perceived emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. This mixed-method study evaluated both negative and positive messages perceived by Gen Z on Instagram. A mixed-method study was applied along with using three communication theories as the foundation of the study for results: Media Ecology Theory, Media Dependency Theory, and Cultivation Theory. The study analyzed Gen Z’s Instagram usage for 146 total survey responses over five days. The study determined the overall amount of Instagram usage by participants, the types of messages communicated through the medium, and how the use of the medium impacts emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. The overall outcome concluded that Instagram positively impacted Gen Z emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.