Ever wondered how much time you spend on your social media account? You should because, according to a new study, individuals who tend to spend more time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat tend to be more socially isolated than those who spend less time on social media and more time talking face-to-face with actual people. The study points out that individuals who tend to spend more than 2 hours per day on social media are two times more likely to feel socially isolated.
Ironically enough, according to the latest research, heavy social media use can lead to social isolation. Although the idea of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is to bring people closer, and to show users that no matter the distance, the world’s still a small place, the recent study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine points out that things are not what they seem to be.
In this new study, the scientists wrote that prolonged exposure to social media interaction could damage an individual’s way of being able to handle real-life social events. Furthermore, the scientists also pointed out that some users might feel more isolated after seeing how other users depict their lives.
For example, an individual with no romantic relationships might feel somewhat isolated seeing couple pictures. In addition, it would seem that an individual might harbor social isolation feelings upon seeing a picture depicting a couple in a happy circumstance even though that picture may or may not reflect reality.
Dr. Elizabeth Miller of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine declared that the distortion of reality is a recurrent motif in social media, and may affect individuals in a negative way.
In order to determine the relationship between time spent on social media and social isolation, Dr. Miller and her team of researcher sent questionnaires to over 1,700 adults, with ages ranging from 19 to 32 years.
After compiling the result, Miller and her team discovered that respondents spend a median of 60 minutes per day and 30 hours per week perusing their social media account. Furthermore, it appears that approximately 30 percent of volunteers reported that they feel socially isolated.
Based on the study’s results, Miller declared that individuals who spent more than two hours per day on social media are two times more likely to feel socially isolated while those who spend 58 hours or more are three to four times more likely to feel isolated.
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