New York: Negative experiences on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, especially in young adults, increase the likelihood of feeling lonely, a new study has been found.
Positive conversations on social media are not feeling more connected to younger adults, while negative experiences increase the likelihood of reporting loneliness, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media Technology and Health (MTH) said.
“Social media appears to add people, so it’s amazing and interesting that our investigation shows that social media is being linked to loneliness,” Lead writer Brian Primack, director of Pitt’s MTH.
Perished social isolation, which is a synonym of loneliness, is associated with poor health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and depression, he added in a paper published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Primack and his team surveyed 1,178 students aged 18 to 30 years of age about their social media use, to what extent their experience was positive or negative, and their level of alleged loneliness.
To increase the negative experiences of social media every 10 percent, participants reported a 13 percent increase in feelings of loneliness.
However, for every 10 percent increase in positive experiences on social media, participants reported no significant changes in the feelings of loneliness.
The study author Jam Sidani said, “There is a tendency for people to give more weight than positive experiences and symptoms, and this can be particularly relevant.”
“Health practitioners can encourage the public to be more cognitive and thoughtful about their online experiences, which inhibit negative experiences and potential cycles of loneliness,” Primak said.
Because social media is so widespread, it is important that we better understand why this is happening and we can help people navigate to social media without any negative consequences, researchers wrote.