Emily Teed

Research Project

Investigating How Social Media Affects Attention Spans


Hi I’m Emily!

I’m in my graduating year in Professional Communications here at Toronto Metropolitan University! Throughout my time in school, I’ve had the chance to explore many areas of interest in a work setting from social media management for start-ups and festivals to graphic design. While growing up in Ottawa, I danced competitively for 11 years and I’ve always had a deep passion for the arts so ideally, upon graduating, I can find a career that pertains to the arts in some way and allows me to express my creative side! I’m so excited to continue exploring all of the opportunities that come my way after graduating, and I hope to do some travelling in the process. When I’m not working or writing endless research papers, I love to hang out with friends, listen to music and play with my cat Dash! I also love to go thrifting, and I’m a big believer in getting a sweet little treat 🙂

If you’d like to connect or learn more about me, feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn (Emily Teed) or email – emilyrobinteed@gmail.com!


Research Summary

In partnership with Michelle Bui, I explored the relationship between social media and attention spans by using qualitative data analysis to find themes in scholarly literature and discourse. To ensure a well rounded overview of existing research, we took on this topic from a psychological lens as well as a philosophical lens, analyzing works from leading scholars specializing in the psychological and philosophical implications of technology on people. We also broadened our research to include other works that investigate the relationship between technology, social media and attention spans, and we used all of these works to find similar themes and arguments. We then applied these themes and arguments to the most common technological practices of young adults such as endlessly scrolling on popular social media platforms like Tiktok and Instagram, as well as multitasking via technology. From a philosophical perspective, Michelle found themes related to the ethics of being chronically online as well as the medium in which many of these platforms utilize, which ultimately indicated that our attention spans are being affected by social media in a negative way. In using a psychological lens, my findings indicated that due to the way these platforms are built in which algorithms dominate and content is becoming shorter and shorter, our attention on these platforms is being held for longer each day which is a major factor in the deterioration of our attention spans. While it is understood that there’s a lot more research that needs to be done in the future on specific, newer social media platforms such as Tiktok and Instagram, our findings indicate that there is a significant, impacted relationship between social media and attention spans which is something we think is important to be aware of. 

Research Poster

Lightning Talk

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