Did you know? Social media increases loneliness

New study suggests over two hours of exposure causes feelings of envy, inferiority and social isolation


Entertainment Desk March 09, 2017
PHOTO:TINYBUDDHA

According to a new report, more than a couple of hours of social media exposure in one day doubles the chances of a person experiencing social isolation.

According to BBC, the study claims exposure to idealised representations of other people's lives may cause feelings of envy and looked at people using Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr in particular.

It's important to remember what you see on social isn't necessarily the reason for you feeling bad but it might surely be one of the factors. To put it simply, excessive usage of social media might just heighten the emotions you're already feeling.

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"We do not yet know which came first - the social media use or the perceived social isolation," Elizabeth Miller, co-author of the report and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, said. "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."

Theories in the report suggest the more time a person spends online, the less time they have for real-world interactions. This also encourage feelings of exclusion, such as when one sees photos of friends enjoying an event to which you have not been invited.

The team questioned almost 2,000 adults aged 19 to 32 years about their use on social media. Professor Brian Primack, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said, "This is an important issue to study because mental health problems and social isolation are at epidemic levels among young adults.”

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Brian continued, "We are inherently social creatures, but modern life tends to compartmentalise us instead of bringing us together. While it may seem that social media presents opportunities to fill that social void, I think this study suggests that it may not be the solution people were hoping for."

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