Analysis and Theory

Building the Field

Engineering and Policy Development

Social Media and Well-Being in Context

March 28, 2024

Berkman Klein Center
1557 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA

March 28, 1:00 PM–March 28, 4:00 PM

Join us for a series of conversations organized by Visiting Scholar Jeff Hall and featuring:

Nancy Baym
Linda Charmaraman
Diane B. Francis
Connie Hadley
Lee Humphreys
Carrie James

If you do not have a Harvard ID, please plan to arrive from 12:45-1:10pm or 2:20-2:50pm to be let into the building.

When, how, and for whom does social media promote social connection and relationship building? When, how, and for whom does social media bring about isolation, anxiety, or loneliness? Is it a case of either-or or both-and?

Rather than thinking of social media as having a singular, unalterable effect on its users, we should ask what role social, geographic, and developmental contexts play in how social media is used. This event will gather scholars across communication, business, education, psychology, technology, and public health to discuss the context of social media use. Each speaker will examine how context affects how people use social media and how/why social media may affect their well-being. They will discuss what role social media can play in improving people’s connection or mitigating its harms for those most vulnerable.

The purpose of this discussion is to identify what we know and don’t know about how context influences the way social media is used and its effects on well-being. Each will bring a different paradigm of study to the question of context and social media.

Adolescents, Schools, Families and Friends (1:00-2:20)

  • Carrie James, Linda Charmaraman, Lee Humphreys

Online Communities, Remote Workers, and Public Health (2:40-4:00)

  • Connie Hadley, Diane B. Francis, Nancy Baym