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New Study Links Social Media To Isolation In Young Adults [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 08, 2017 09:27 PM EST

A new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh revealed how increased social media use is associated with higher levels of social isolation in young adults. Previous studies have suggested that more time on social media is linked to depression, jealousy, low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority. The new study has come to better understand how it greatly affects behavior and mood.

Researchers asked 1,787 participants, aging from 19 to 32 years old, about their social media habits and how they felt about their place in the world. They were asked to fill out the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System. It tests how socially connected or isolated a person feels.

The study found that participants with high usage, two hours a day or more, of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others have perceived themselves to be more socially isolated compared to people who spend less than half an hour a day. Those who visited 58 times or more in a week had three times the chance of feeling socially isolated compared to those who only visited nine times or less.

The researchers point out that feelings of isolation are often associated with negative health effects such as weight, sleep patterns and immune function. This suggests that social media usage and its effects or motivations could help combat more than just loneliness and social isolation in young adults, according to CNN.

Social media takes so much of our time, which could have been spent in person-to-person socialization. There are theories that seeing pictures of others having fun at events can exacerbate feelings of being excluded and jealousy.

Forbes reported, Elizabeth Miller, study senior author, pointed out that it's not totally clear which way the relationship goes, she said "It's possible that young adults who initially felt socially isolated turned to social media. Or it could be that their increased use of social media somehow led to feeling isolated from the real world."

Social media still has its benefits, like keeping in touch with friends and family that are separated by large distances. Perhaps cutting down, or adjusting our attitude toward it is the key.

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