Social Media : Is Use of Social Media Making You Feel Lonely? 222

A research team of an American University has found that negative experiences on social media sites may make young adults feel lonely

Social media use is not limited to the youth. Energetic adoption of social media sites for constant ongoing exchange of messages is the norm for everyone now. The gratification that comes from instant communication via social media is enjoyed by all sections of the society. But there is also a downside to it.

VULNERABLE YOUNG ADULTS

The young mind is more malleable and impressionable where social experiences are concerned. And if social experiences are online and negative in nature, then the impact is stronger.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in the United States have researched and found that the more one uses social media, the more a person gets associated with increased feelings of loneliness.

COMMENTS, LIKES & LONELINESS

Each of us is mentally linked to our chosen social networking sites and platforms now. As soon as we get some free time, then right from the morning, we start finger-scrolling our mobile screens for social feeds on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

We start checking for comments and likes for our posted content. Those who are old enough may treat ‘no comments-likes’ and ‘few comments-likes’ with a shrug of a shoulder and forget about it. But those who are younger are not able to process this situation casually. Many young adults take this lack of engagement to their content seriously. They start feeling depressed and lonely.

SOCIAL ISOLATION

Lead author of this study on social media use and the youth, Brian Primack expressed surprise that though social media is about connecting people, their investigations revealed social media is linked to loneliness. There is perceived social isolation among young adults, which negatively impacts health too. The study was published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

NAVIGATING SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media maze is filled with many twists and turns. Having a calm mind helps in navigating our way through the digital flood of emotional posts that dot the social platforms.

You can feel positive after reading and watching something on social sites giving you fleeting positive reinforcement. But, you can have negative experiences too when you get involved in public social media arguments which can escalate quickly.

LASTING IMPRESSION

Even reading hateful posts and hateful comments can leave a lasting, potentially traumatic impression on someone. The University researchers found, that for every 10 percent increase in negative experiences on social media by the young adults, the participants reported a 13 percent increase in feelings of loneliness.

The research team surveyed 1,178 university students. Their ages ranged from 18 to 30 years.

In the research, they were asked about their social media use, to what extent their experiences were positive or negative, and their level of perceived loneliness.

Well, for better or worse, the change will come. So we will just have to wait and see how social media will keep changing our behaviour.


Do comment below how you feel when you use your favourite social media platform

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