Social Media Use Could Make You Socially Isolated


Using social media is like our regular activity today. We check Facebook time by time to check friends activity or scroll Instagram. Although, a new research suggests that the more time young adults spend using social media, the higher their chances of feeling socially isolated. They are found 2x socially isolated than those who spent less than half hour.

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh conducted a study. They involved 1,787 US adults aged 19 to 32. Then, they asked participants about the time and frequency they spent on popular social media sites.

Scientists then used a tool called the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) to measure participant’s social isolation. The tool helps to report functions, symptoms, behaviors, and feelings of volunteers. Scientists found that participants who often logged on social media experienced a decreased sense of social belonging. they even found that such participants had lower engagement with others and less fulfilling relationships.

Beyond it, participants who visited various social media platforms reported to had about triple the odds of feeling socially isolated.

A senior author, Elizabeth Miller said, “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.”

Scientists came up with several possible reasons for why this might be. Spending multiple hours over social media inevitably leaves less time to talk to others in the real world. Also, seeing friends looking happy or sharing personal successes may make you feel envious.

Director, Dr. Brian A. Primack said, “This issue is an important one to study either way. Although, mental health problems and social isolation are so common among young adults.”

We are inherently social creatures, but modern life tends to compartmentalized 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.

Scientists noted, “Further study is still required to understand the implications of social media use. After all, people interact with each other in a lot of different ways online.”


See stories of the future in your inbox each morning.