Social media use has once again been linked to loneliness and depression. Research has been hinting at the connection for several years, but scientists from the University of Pennsylvania say that this new study is the most comprehensive and rigorous to date.
Social media is not all bad, as not much really is, but most people tend to have a difficult time using their social media accounts in moderation. That, according to the new study, can leave a person’s mental state a little lacking. There are even therapies and rehabilitation for those who have an addiction to social media.
Ever since sites like Facebook and Instagram became part of daily life, scientists have wondered whether or not they could contribute to mental health problems. In fact, research has hinted at a connection between social media use and depression for several years, according to This Insider. We have reached a point where people have a hard time tearing away from their social media accounts.
Published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, the most recent study linking poor mental health conditions to social media use has added even more evidence to back up the theory. The researchers from the University of Pennsylvania intentionally designed their experiment to be more comprehensive than previous studies on the topic. Rather than relying on short-term lab data or self-reported questionnaires, they recruited 143 undergraduate students to share screenshots of their Phone battery screens over a week to collect data on how much they were using social media apps including Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.
According to an in-depth report on the study done by This Inside, subjects of the study were told either to maintain their typical social media behavior or limit it to 10 minutes per day. Alongside the screenshot data, the researchers also looked at how much the participants experienced fear of missing out, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
“Here’s the bottom line,” said Melissa G. Hunt, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the study. “Using less social media than you normally would lead to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study,” said Hunt. “It is a little ironic that reducing your use of social media actually makes you feel less lonely,” she added. “Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there’s an enormous amount of social comparison that happens. When you look at other people’s lives, particularly on Instagram, it’s easy to conclude that everyone else’s life is cooler or better than yours.”
“If you spend most of your time scrolling through your newsfeed checking out other people’s lives and compare them to your own, you become more at risk of developing (or having worsening) symptoms of depression or anxiety,” psychologist Allison Abrams told Business Insider. “This is especially so in those with low self-esteem.”
There are definitely physical and mental health benefits to a technology detox. The results suggest social media and screens should both be used in moderation; just like most things. “When you’re not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you’re actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life,” Hunt said. “In general, I would say, put your phone down and be with the people in your life.”
How do you turn off the program in the matrix ?
Articles were written several years ago by professionals and those who study psychology and similar fields; about social media when it was becoming prominent. That it would create loneliness and other similar human relations problems. They knew it would be addictive (it was meant to be). I despise the concept that someone you meet on-line is your good “friend”, how utterly hollow and meaningless. Social media giants have promoted and sold this idea to the masses, who unfortunately believed it. Social media has its valid purposes such as this site where one can actually become informed, and leave comments informing others. But the use must have its limits. Social media, especially those sites requiring accounts, are an extremely poor substitute for friendship, or any type of relationship. To use an analogy; you can have a diet of non-nutritious food but for so long before health problems set in. This is what’s happening. The author of this article noted a study that when using less social media, or in a controlled limited way, the person became happier, less depressed. Just as when someone starts eating properly their health improves.
Another disturbing phenomenon I see now is the unthinking willingness to make one’s private affairs public to the whole world, to those you don’t know or will ever know. How odd! I personally don’t understand why someone would do that except they have been socially conditioned to find it acceptable. It’s as if discretion is no longer a virtue. Furthermore, with every click of the mouse more information is collected from them. The social media giants and gov’t love that, each for their own reasons, but you can certainly bet it is collaborative.
Most social media users don’t know they are the product. You are the milk cow, making them money by throwing your time away, getting nothing real in return, only wasting your precious time. I strongly recommend closing all your social media accounts, all of them. I have a desk top computer, two iPads, and two cell phones, none have ever been used for social media where you had to log into an account. Yet, I have a social life I enjoy. I suspect a big problem today is actually a lack of purpose and direction in the average person’s life. It must be so, if people are willing to sit down and go on FB for example, for hours at a time. It would be better if you enhanced your life by developing a passion, find a consuming activity or hobby, go to an active church, learn a skill, pursue education, or develop friendships with people who are like-minded. What are you going to say one day on your death bed “I wish I spent more time on social media”.
Good article, but the MSM, all ‘entertainment’, radio, and even somethings on the internet are also linked to depression. Not sure about loneliness. I’ve been alone for the past 13 years. The last woman I dated I threw out of my house when I found out something about her I didn’t like. And she made loneliness look like PARADISE. So loneliness is NOT ALWAYS a bad thing. I speak from experience. So I do without the ‘boob-tube’, what passes for ‘entertainment’ today, and social media. Don’t want them, don’t need them.
For the last several years, research has shown that Fa[r]cebook actually INCREASES a person’s loneliness!
The more connectedness we have OFFline, the HEALTHIER we are.
But if our ONLINE presence qualitatively outweighs genuine or authentic HUMAN (offline) connectedness, we will be experiencing mental health issues, and possibly more.
Let’s always remember and keep in mind that our fellow humans are also hurting and also struggle, in whatever way, and are also on the same journey we call life. With compassion, with judging only behavior and not the person, we create connectedness and community.
“Ah, look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from?
“Ah, look at all the lonely people, where do they all belong?
– the Beatles
The stronger our connectedness and communion with each other, the less lonely or nonlonely we will be! We belong to each other in true human community/connectedness. Sadly, those who belong to the world (to riches, to control power over and against people) make it harder for the rest of us.
Don’t give up and don’t give in but don’t become like our enemy: soulless. Once you lose your soul, you lose it all and then they win because you become like them.
God bless you all.
– the Lone Ranger
When your phone/computer are your only friend your a total loser! Make believe online friends? Their parents should be executed along with their disfunctional offspring. Boo Hoo virtual idiots…..
How come every time I put up a post on Eisenkreutz exposing him as a government agent/sabateur my posts go into moderation??
And twice within 7 days??
What’s up with that?
We have no control over that. The Disqus system sorts comments into approved, pending, and spam. We then have to go through manually and approve the ones that were not automatically approved.
Thank you, Mac, for your reply!
I urge you to read what Jim in VA says below, he gets the same result as I do, geez!
So that CONFIRMS for me BEYOND a shadow of a doubt that there is some malicious software attached to your site and/or the Disqus system that BLOCKS anyone who exposes Eisenkreutz.
Please let me quote the great (fictional) detective Sherlock Holmes in regard to this, “Whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth.”
– the Lone Ranger
My posts always takes hours, even as much as 24 hours, to show up. I’ve been surprised today, my posts have appeared sooner than usual. And with that I’m signing off and headed to the wilderness. Got things to do. This is my second post on this article, and still waiting to see first one show up. Like I said heading out now. Have a good day patriots.
Lone Ranger….same troll and same result…I go into moderation.
In my response to Mac’s answer to me, which also went into moderation, I stated that what always happens to you and me regarding that person CONFIRMS that he is indeed a saboteur AND that there is malicious software attached to Mac’s site and/or to his Disqus system.
– the Lone Ranger
Social media, isnt. Social media is a dopamine pump excitor that is a strong as or worse than heroin for people who crave attention as it feeds instant feedback addiction through dopamine hits, but the problem is this… Its legal and just as addicting as gambling and why instawhoring for attention is the most destructive thing a person can do. Like anything else a human does, a strongly controlled self moderation is key but the most absent drive a human has. Back in the day, being social was limited to physical public contact and everyone had limited by time and energy better expended on SURVIVAL AND FOOD FIRST. So yeah, technology is killing humans fasterthrough misused enslaving “progress”. But to actually see it and figure it out requires an introspection also in rare supply… Keep on hitting those send buttons!
Genius, LOL. You said a mouthful with that post. Give me the real world any day! no fantasy world for me ever!
Social media actually began pre-Internet when computer nerds created an alternative with regional bulletin board systems. This allowed a series of comments to be posted on a topic. Then acquaintances sprung up, and people shared their emails. From that came a renewed sense of correspondance rather than brevity. Many emails were quite lengthy and welcomed as a diversion. So much for the old safe days when we engaged in that sort of behavior that is no longer wise.
What happened was that period facilitated discussion on alternative populist discernment of history from a personal perspective, often by veterans and or bushcraft folks and or Native Americans and or ex-hippies and or organic farmers and or rural folks etc. Several events fostered a renewed interest in ancestral skills and a new generation of homesteaders.
Wide spread internet access had the opposite effect. It largely was based on brevity and light versions of the facts and oversimplified many aspects of routine life. Many folks of that ilk began negecting ancestral skills as irrelevant. The strangest obsessions were focused on entirely useless tech activities. Simultaneous the Internet allowed the dissemination of subversive ideas and the idea of living vicariously through following celebrities. Texting became more and more popular showing a severe reduction in a generation unable to actually communicate complex ideas.
It’s unlikely to alter some young person’s mind on the Internet. It’s nearly impossible to persuade online. However many young people do comprehend the value of nature and ancestral skills. Don’t give up on them. Our ancestors did not give up on us. Find a way to convey small acts of kindness that use ancestral skills to produce a valuable gift like bread. It starts a conversation. If they need help, offer to bring tools and guide them carefully. Eventually you have a budding actual friendship…and possibly they become an ally.
Millennials often think they have friends when all they have are nosy followers. This means genuine friendship can be very valuable to them. It’s unlikely to begin a friendship based on communicating politics or religion. That comes later as trust levels rise.
Unfollow everyone and everything, on fb. Allow them to be your ‘friend’, short of saying anything unconscionable. Cleaning up your homepage is akin to mental hygiene. Did you know that you can still read, from 100 or more closed groups, without them overloading your cell phone? Turn off notifications. It’s not business or an emergency.
Most of us are very-nice, careworn people, who will not treat others like a tool, or assign useful a purpose to them.
But, there’s an ‘adult’ therapist, who asks whether your acquaintance is intended for dating, sex, or marriage. I add one more category, for miscellany.
I am not saying to line them up, against a pit, incel style. I am not saying to cry for them, cuck sissy style. (imo, extreme responses on opposite ends of the spectrum.)
Just have an exit strategy, when you decide that someone is useless, so feel neutral.
The prostitute from 5000 mi away, sending you a friend request, who has, literally, 300, male friends? If you’re a masochist or watch the porn equivalent of B movies, on your public profile — go ahead. This is probably meaningful interaction, to a special kind of person.
I met one, about to a lose a house, in a challenging college courses, whose psych meds would cause forgetfulness, I was specifically told. There are people, in low places, who find cults and get rich quick schemes very encouraging. At this point, I am willing to say they have a place, in the natural order.
Know your place.
Is this site considered “social media” ?
Are you socializing, and do you find it harmful?
The fact is, except for a few moments, we are born into this world alone. We live our lives alone. And in the end we die alone. That doesn’t depress me. Sometimes, you can feel more alone with people than by yourself. But depressed? No.
My own foolishness depresses me; having allowed people whose only desire was to betray my basic interests depresses me; that I may have learned nothing; changed nothing, depresses me.
Some of the people that sit on the internet all day and feel they must share their “vast knowledge” on every article should take note. There are a few around that seem to be authorities on everything.
“In general, I would say, put your phone down and be with the people in your life.”
f.b. purity add-on for firefox
I liked the slogan:
Decrease the noise, and boost the signal.
Several apps allow you to control the content of popular, social media sites.
Including comment blockers, for anywhere.