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Using Social Media For Over 2 Hours? Chances Of Feeling Isolated Are More Reveals Study

7 March 2017, 5:37 am EST By Amy Gordon Tech Times
Excessive amount of time spent on social media platforms increases the chances of social isolation. Studies show that more than 2 hours on social media daily doubles the possibility.  ( Esther Vargas | Flickr )

 A national analysis led by scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reported that the higher the time a young adult spends on social media, the greater the possibility for them to feel socially isolated.

Young adults, who spend two hours or more on social media sites daily, face double the risk of suffering from social isolation compared to those who use it for lesser amounts of time, according to the research.

How Was The Study Conducted?

In 2014, when the research was organized, the team interrogated 1,787 adults between the age of 19-32 years about their uses of the 11 most popular social media sites including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pintrest, Vine and LinkedIn.

To acquire a broad range of measurements, each participant was examined for self-perceived social isolation with the help of a standard technique called the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System.

What Do The Results Reveal?

Participants of the research who accessed the different social media sites 58 or more times per week were three times more likely to experience social isolation, when compared to those who visited less than nine times per week.

However, scientists involved in the research stated that they could not conclude whether people were initially isolated and got enticed by social media, or if it was responsible for making them isolated.

They concluded that social media is unable to make people feel more associated to each other.

"This is an important issue to study because mental health problems and social isolation are at epidemic levels among young adults," said Brian A. Primack, lead author of the study.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences have several assumptions on how increased usage of social media can trigger the feeling of isolation.

The more time spent on social media platforms, lesser the time available for an individual to interact with the real world which gradually isolates a person from society.

Presentation of perfect lives of peers on social media can trigger jealousy and induce the absurd belief that they have more contented lives.

Primack is an enthusiast of helping people reduce the amount of social media usage and the researchers also motivate doctors to know more about the social media usage of their patients.

Perhaps in the future, doctors would be able to advise their patients upon the limitation of the time which they should spend on social media websites as a result of research such as this.

The research has been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Photo: Esther Vargas | Flickr

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