Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (among others) are meant to encourage us to be more social, but is it isolating us instead?
The Ups and Downs of Social Media
You’d be hard pressed to find someone that didn’t have at least one active social media account. Everyone from your Grandmother to your 10-year-old niece is posting, tweeting and snapping. Their aim? To connect with friends, family and sometimes strangers. It seems that we are all seeking some sort of connection and validation in our lives, but are we getting that from social media? Of course we are, in some ways. If you happen to live far away from family, then having the ability to post a quick status of what you’re up to will help them feel connected to you. But, would a phone call have more impact? Probably, but with our increasingly more demanding lives it might be difficult for some to find the time. Especially, it seems, young people.
- One report suggests if you spend over two hours a day on social networks, your chances of feeling socially isolated are twice as high.
- Not surprisingly, it’s young adults that are most affected by negative social media use and the impact on loneliness
- In The United Arab Emirates social media has a penetration rate of 99%, the global average was 45% and in Oceania it was 57%.
How It Can Be Isolating
According to psychologists, our social media habits are making as lonely and our real-life relationships are suffering. In one recent survey, of the 20,000 participants, 46% reported they sometimes or always felt lonely. As it turns out, this is not an isolated finding, it’s becoming an epidemic. It’s not hard to see why, according to one study adults spend around 1/7 of their waking lives on some form of social media. Imagine if all that time and energy spent scrolling was instead used catching up for dinner with friends, playing at a park with your kid or watching a movie with your partner. Perhaps then everyone wouldn’t feel so lonely.
What do you think LiveTribers? Is social media making us more isolated and less connected? Or do you think it’s a great way to keep in contact with loved ones?