How many social media sites have you visited today? How many times? It is important that you stay connected via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the likes. Too much social media, however, may not be as good for you as you may think it is.
In a research that seems somewhat contradictory to what social media should actually be, it was discovered that too much social media can make you feel socially isolated. That is following a research from psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh.
According to the research finding published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, too much social media “may elicit feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier and more successful lives”.
Nevertheless, speaking on the study, a senior author, Dr. Elizabeth Miller stated that to it is not yet known which came first between the social media use and the perceived social isolation. The thing, though, is that there is a relationship.
“It’s possible that young adults who initially felt socially isolated turned to social media. Or it could be that their increased use of social media somehow led to feeling isolated from the real world. It also could be a combination of both. But even if the social isolation came first, it did not seem to be alleviated by spending time online, even in purportedly social situations.”
An interesting aspect of the study is the finding that participants who used social media more than two hours a day are twice the odds for perceived social isolation than others who spend only half an hour or less on social media each day.
“This is an important issue to study because mental health problems and social isolation are at epidemic levels among young adults,” said lead author Brian A. Primack.
While it will be easy to assume that since we are social creatures social media should help us in coming together, the study points out to the fact that on the contrary, social media puts us in various classes and compartments. Hence, it may not necessarily solve our socialization issues.
1,787 adults aged between 19-32, were used in the study and a questionnaire to determine their social media use and measure their perceived social isolation using a validated assessment tool, was used.
It gets even sadder that the study finds that normal social experiences have easily been discarded as a result of what social media has to offer.
It is to this end that an earlier conducted study suggests that Facebook as a social media, doesn’t make people as happy as we think, instead it makes them more miserable.
These negative effects of social media may at the end of the day be because of the way they are used and not necessarily the social media in themselves.