Document Type : Articles


1 Associate Professor of education, Bu- Ali Sina University

2 Communication science, Amin University


The present study aims to work out solutions for reducing Social Media(SM) harms based on the media ecological perspective. According to media ecology perspective, SM should be addressed at micro-, meso-, exo-, macro-, and chrono-levels. Drawing on meta-synthesis method, Magiran, SID, Noormags, ScienceDirect, Wiley, Springer, Ebscohost, and Sage databases were searched for the data using related keywords. Accordingly, a number of 129 articles were retrieved from the databases. Further analyses on the article titles, abstracts and full texts led to the exclusion of 47, 26, and 14 articles from the set, respectively. Eventually, 42 articles were selected and analyzed as the research sample. The eligibility criteria included peer-reviewed journal articles or full conference papers on social media harms or abuse, published between 2002 -2020, available in English and Persian. As other sources (e.g. dissertations) are not peer-reviewed, and we aimed to identify rigorous best practice literature, we excluded these.  The results showed that solutions could be worked out by studying the why and how to use and to participate along with the harms simultaneously. The why and how to use as well as the harms may be determined at micro-, meso-, exo-, macro-, and chrono-levels so that solutions could be proposed at five levels including nurturing time management skills; promoting critical thinking; encouraging family, peer, and colleagues’ participation in creating recreational, sports and leisure contexts; teaching media literacy; passing binding and persuasive laws, then review the historical trend of technology adoption.


  1. Abdollahyan, H., Semati, M., & Ahmadi, M. (2013). An analysis of the second-level digital divide in Iran: A case study of University of Tehran undergraduate students. The Digital Divide, 237.
  2. Ahn, J. (2011). The effect of social network sites on adolescents' social and academic development: Current theories and controversies. Journal of the American Society for information Science and Technology, 62(8), 1435-1445. doi.10.1002/1si.21540.
  3. Blank, G. (2013). Who creates content? Information, Communication & Society, 16(4), 590-612, doi. 10.1080/1369118X.2013.777758
  4. Blank, G., & Groselj, D. (2014). Dimensions of Internet use: amount, variety, and types. Information, Communication & Society, 17(4), 417-435. doi . 10.1080/1369118x.2014.889189.
  5. Bolton, R. N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., ... & Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 24(3), 245-267. doi 101108/09564231311326987.
  6. Brinker, D. L., Gastil, J., & Richards, R. C. (2015). Inspiring and informing citizens online: A media richness analysis of varied civic education modalities. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 20(5), 504-519. doi 10.1111/jcc4.12128.
  7. Buechel, E., & Berger, J. (2012). Facebook therapy? Why people share self-relevant content online. NA-Advances in Consumer Research, 12(4), 48-60. doi10.2139/ssrn.1013148.
  8. Chen, D. T., Lin, T. B., Li, J. Y., & Lee, L. (2018). Establishing the norm of new media literacy of Singaporean students: Implications to policy and pedagogy. Computers & Education, 124, 1-13. doi 1016j.compedu2018.04.010.
  9. Carr, N. G. (2010). The shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
  10. Capua. I. D. (2012). A Literature Review of Research on Facebook Use. The Open Communication Journal, 6(1), 37-42.doi 10.2174/1874916x01206010037.
  11. Cheng, C., & Li, A. Y. L. (2014). Internet addiction prevalence and quality of (real) life: A meta-analysis of 31 nations across seven world regions. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(12), 755-760. doi.10.1089/cyber.2014.0317.
  12. Chuang, Y. W. (2015). Toward an understanding of uses and gratifications theory and the sense of virtual community on knowledge sharing in online game communities. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 5(6), 472.doi 10.7763/ijiet.2015.v5.552.
  13. Correa, T. (2010). The Participation Divide Among ‘‘Online Experts’’: Experience, Skills and Psychological Factors as Predictors of College Students’ Web Content Creation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 16, 71-92.doi 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2010.01532x.
  14. De Mul, J. (2005). The game of life. Narrative and ludic identity formation in computer games. In J. Goldstein & J. Raessens, Handbook of computer games studies (pp. 251-266). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. doi 10.1162/leon.2007.40.2.207.
  15. Dorn, C., Taylor, R. N., & Dustdar, S. (2012). Flexible social workflows: Collaborations as human architecture. IEEE Internet Computing, 16(2), 72-77. doi 10.1109/mic.2012.33.
  16. Dorn, J., & Labitzke, S. (2011). Extracting Social Relationships from Social Software. Handbook of Research on Business Social Networking: Organizational, Managerial, and Technological Dimensions: Organizational, Managerial, and Technological Dimensions, 405. doi 10. 1016/0040-1625(93)90017-2.
  17. Durkee, T., Kaess, M., Carli, V., Parzer, P., Wasserman, C., Floderus, B., ... & Brunner, R. (2012). Prevalence of pathological internet use among adolescents in Europe: demographic and social factors. Addiction, 107(12), 2210-2222. doi 10.1016/s0924-9338(12)74765-x
  18. Lin, C. H., Chen, S. K., Chang, S. M., & Lin, S. S. (2013). Cross-lagged relationships between problematic Internet use and lifestyle changes. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(6), 2615-2621. doi 10.1016/j.chb.2013.06.029.
  19. Ellison, N. B., & Boyd, D. (2013). Sociality through social network sites. The Oxford handbook of internet studies, 151-172.
  20. Gulbrandsen, I. T., & Just, S. N. (2011). The collaborative paradigm: towards an invitational and participatory concept of online communication. Media, Culture & Society, 33(7), 1095-1108. doi10.1177/0163443711416066.
  21. Hargittai, E., & Shafer, S. (2006). Differences in actual and perceived online skills: The role of gender. Social Science Quarterly, 87(2), 432-448. Doi 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00389.x
  22. Hoffmann, C. P., Lutz, C., & Meckel, M. (2015). Content creation on the Internet: A social cognitive perspective on the participation divide. Information, Communication & Society, 18(6), 696-716. Doi 10.1080/1369118x.2014.991343.
  23. Jenkins, H., Purushotma, R., Weigel, M., Clinton, K., & Robison, A. J. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. MIT Press.
  24. Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59-68. Doi 10.1016/j.bushor.2009.09.003
  25. Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business horizons, 54(3), 241-251. Doi 10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.005.
  26. Li, C., Bernoff, J., Fiorentino, R., & Glass, S. (2007). Social technographics: Mapping participation in activities forms the foundation of a social strategy. Forrester Research, 1-13.
  27. O’Neill, B. (2015). Ecological perspectives and children’s use of the Internet: exploring micro to macro level analysis. Eesti Haridusteaduste Ajakiri. Estonian Journal of Education, 3(2), 32-53. doi 10.12697/eha.2015.3.2.02b.
  28. Oostervink, N., Agterberg, M., & Huysman, M. (2016). Knowledge Sharing on Enterprise Social Media: Practices to Cope With Institutional Complexity. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 18(2), 21-25. Doi10.1111/jcc4.12153.
  29. Paknezhad, H.R. (2016). Can too much use of Telegram lead to divorce? Razi Medical Sciences Quarterly, 23(4), 77-83.
  30. Pempek, T. A., Yermolayeva, Y. A., & Calvert, S. L. (2009). College students' social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of applied developmental psychology, 30(3), 227-238. Doi 10.1016/jadddev.2008.12.010.
  31. Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P.M (2006). Adolescents’ internet use: Testing the ‘‘disappearing digital divide’’ versus the ‘‘emerging digital differentiation’’ approach. Poetics, 34,293–305. doi10.1016/jpoetic.2006.05.005.
  32. Sahu, S. K. (2014). The Impact of Social Media on University Learning. Journal of Library and Information Sciences, 2(10), 87-93. doi 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.007
  33. Sawyer, S., & Tyworth, M. (2006, September). Social informatics: Principles, theory, and practice. In IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (pp. 49-62). Springer US. doi 10.5860/ch0ice.49-5165.
  34. Seraji, F., & Alibakhshi, M. (2015). Parents’ concerns over computer game harms to adolescents: findings of a mixed-method study. Family and Research Quarterly, 12(1), 31-48. [In Persian]
  35. Sponcil, M., & Gitimu, P. (2013). Use of social media by college students: Relationship to communication and self-concept. Journal of Technology Research, 4(1), 37-49.
  36. Suziki, L., & Calzo, J. (2004). The search for peer advice in cyberspace: An examination of online teen bulletin boards about health and sexuality. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 25, 685–698.
  37. van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2012). The Evolution of the Digital Divide - The Digital Divide Turns to Inequality of Skills and Usage. In J. Bus, M. Crompton, M. Hildebrandt, & G. Metakides (Eds.), Digital Enlightenment Yearbook 2012 (pp. 57-78). Amsterdam: IOS Press.
  38. Underwood, M., Gruninger, M., Obrst, L., Baclawski, K., Bennett, M., Berg-Cross, G., & Sriram, R. D. (2015). Internet of things: Toward smart networked systems and societies. Applied Ontology, 10(3-4), 355-365. doi 10.3233/ao-150153.
  39. Walsh D., & Downe, S. (2005). Meta-synthesis method for qualitative research: A literature review. J AdvNurs. 50(2):11- 20. doi 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03380x.