In this course, we will examine the socio psychological architecture of social media and its impact on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  Some of the topics covered during the semester include relationships and social media, algorithms and bias, emotional contagion through digital spaces, the contentious relationship between social media and mental health. 

As of July 2021, there are 4.48 billion social media users around the world, which is equal to almost 57 percent of the world’s total population (Source: Datareportal, 2021).  Digital spaces are proving to be indispensable in completing daily chores, forging and maintaining social relationships, extending support, learning, collective action, or even finding love. This increased engagement, however, brings with it accompanying concerns about possible harm to mental health, privacy and surveillance, manipulation of consumer behavior by profit minded corporations, and perpetuation of bias and misinformation. This is an emerging field in psychology, and I hope together we can support and provoke each other to reimagine social media as a safe space for building meaningful relationships, and fostering social change.  

Course Objectives: 

1) Build an understanding of current research and debates related to psychology and social media, including its impact on our wellbeing.  

2) Understand the basics of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research in psychology using social media  

3) Develop analytic skills to formulate and design a research study using social media. 

4) Become critical and informed users in digital spaces