Associations between Emotions, Social Media Use, and Sun Exposure among Young Women: Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

Jessica Fitts Willoughby, Jessica Gall Myrick, Stephanie Gibbons, Clark Kogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Research has pointed to a connection between social media use, emotions, and tanning behaviors. However, less is known about the role specific emotions may play in influencing social media use and how emotions and social media use may each be associated with outdoor tanning. Objective: This paper aims to examine the connection between emotions, social media use, and outdoor tanning behaviors among young women, a group particularly important for skin cancer prevention efforts. Methods: We used ecological momentary assessment to collect data from 197 women aged 18 to 25 years 3 times a day for 7 days in July 2018. We collected data from women in 2 states. Results: We found that boredom was associated with increased time spent on social media and that increased time spent on social media was associated with increased time spent outdoors without sun protection. Conclusions: Our results highlight that social media may be a particularly important channel for skin cancer prevention efforts targeting young women, as more social media use was associated with increased time spent outdoors with skin exposed. Researchers should consider the role of emotions in motivating social media use and subsequent tanning behaviors. Additionally, as boredom was associated with social media use, intervention developers would benefit from developing digital and social media interventions that entertain as well as educate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18371
JournalJMIR Dermatology
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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