Can an Imbalance of Social Media Usage Cause Loneliness?

by amy brown 3/10/2018 

 

We all can relate to excessively utilizing Facebook, Instagram or even tweeting every second of the day to see how many likes or comments we receive.

 

The more we isolate ourselves to spend surfing social media sites, the more we subject ourselves to being alone and fall into depression, according to studies performed by the Pew Research Center. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009]

According to their study, nine percent of people reported that there was no one to trust in discussing their personal business with; whereas twelve percent of people stated they had at least one persons they trusted. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., 2011].

 

However, many Facebook users reported that they have approximately 229 friends on the social media site. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., 2011].

 

Are people actually alone?

 

As there are billions of people utilizing social media, people around the world can easily connect virtually and socialize via internet with one another.  [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009]

 

The Pew Internet Personal Networks and Community survey confirms people are not alone and are members of diverse social networks. A technique called “regression analysis” was used to examine technology use, network size and other factors, to determine the findings. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].

 

It is found that fifty-five percent of people discuss or upload photos of their business over the internet with people that are not even related. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].

 

This analysis also indicated that social media influences people face-to-face interaction and getting them out in the public more often than before. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].

 

Social Media Provide New Opportunities

Social media has allowed people to be more entuned to their neighbors. Because of social media, people socialize with their neighbor face-to-face or on the telephone more often. They are supporting one another, even more, in problem situations. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].

 

Because of free use of internet in public places, people are getting out of their houses and going to places where they would not have gone before, such as coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, community centers, etc.  [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].

People have the opportunity to friend people all over the world through social media. This is believed to increase relationships. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].

 

People are not isolated 

 

According to the Pew Internet Personal Networks and Community Survey, activities on social media allow many people from different backgrounds to converse and interact with one another and to be aware and participate in local activity more frequently. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].

 

People have face-to-face contact at least 210 days on average, in accordance to the survey data.  Distant communication is frequently and easily made through social media.  [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].

 

 

 

The more social media is used, a person gains more network and feels more connected.  A person can pick and choose when to communicate. We must balance our social media usage along with face-to-face interaction in order to maintain our feeling of engagement.  [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., 2011].

 

 

 

The Pew Research study shows that the more people use social media, the more support and engaged they are. This study also indicates that people who utilize social media are now participating more with political issues and campaigns.   [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., 2011].

 

Social media boosts the voice of the people. And makes it easy for people to stay entuned with news and opinions of other people. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., 2011].

 

Face-to-Face Conversation

Social media provides various conversation topics that allow people to start a conversation during any Face-to-face interaction.   [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., 2011].

 

The Pew Research study shows that the more we socialize, whether on social media or face-to-face, the happier we become. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., 2011].

In Closing

Social Media does not make us lonely. We could make our own self lonely by not socializing with people. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].  If we isolate ourselves and not communication with anyone, loneliness can creep up on us without realizing that we are indeed lonely.  We must increase our activity along with socializing, whether it is through internet or face-to-face, to maintain a balance of happiness. [Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L., 2009].  Studies do not actually show that social media makes us lonely, as it is not a known factor as to the actual cause of loneliness. Whether we are with friends in a face-to-face interaction or on social media, a person can feel lonely.  These interactions do not cause the loneliness.

                                                              References

 

1. Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Rainie, L., Purcell, K. (2011). PEW Report on Social Networking Sites. Retrieved 03/10/2018  from http://www.pewinternet.org/2011/06/16/part-3-social-networking-site-users-have-more-friends-and-more-close-friends/

2. Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Ja Her, E., Rainie, L. (2009). PEW Report on Social Isolation and New Technology. Retrieved 03/10/2018,  from http://www.pewinternet.org/2009/11/04/social-isolation-and-new-technology/