Millions of Americans use social media platforms on a daily basis. The first thing that most people do in the morning is to check notifications on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat.
Social media has gotten a bad rep and it is, often, accused of sabotaging real communication between people.
It’s not uncommon to come across reports or complaints that Facebook and other platforms ruin the way we communicate or that we replace human interaction with text messages. The latest study debunked the popular myth.
Social Media and Human Communication
We should stay away from Facebook and other social media platforms because they are turning us into robots who don’t communicate with anyone face to face. The rise of social media negatively affects human interaction.
Let’s be honest, how many times have you come across these claims? The evolution of technology and social media is considered a bad thing, but scientists at the University of Kansas showed the reality is much different.
Professor Jeffrey A. Hall and his team carried out two tests of the hypothesis that social media use decreases* social interaction and negatively affect our psychological well-being.
The first test used the Longitudinal Study of the American Youth which enrolled 2774 participants to test social displacement over three years.
Results of the experiment revealed that although social media adoption in 2009 predicted less social interaction in 2011, it didn’t affect psychological well-being.
Scientists found that increased social media use in a period 2009-2011 wasn’t related to poor mental health. This finding debunks a myth that Facebook and other social media websites make us depressed.
For the second experiment, scientists used a combination of an undergraduate and community sample which involved 116 participants in total. Subjects were asked to report their social media use habits and social interactions.
They had to report these behaviors five times a day for five days. Regarding social media, participants had to report active use (via chat) and passive use (everything else but chat or instant messages)
Scientists discovered that social media use at prior times of day wasn’t related to impairment in face-to-face communication with other people such as family and friends. Passive use of social media predicted lower future wellbeing, but only in instances when used alone or at prior times.
What did Scientists Conclude?
Results of the study were published in the journal Information, Communication, and Society and scientists explained that none of the above-mentioned experiments proved the hypothesis about lack of social interaction due to Facebook, Twitter, and others.
Technology has evolved greatly last few years and the internet is a major part of our lives. With the internet comes social media websites and one can’t really avoid them.
Even though social platforms have made contact with our friends and family easier, there are concerns that they make us communicate less. This study debunked those claims.
After all, it’s not about social media but how you use them. If you use the apps to communicate with other people, then you will not have any problems interacting with them in real life.
Plus, these websites and platforms don’t necessarily contribute to depression. The key is to unfollow and reduce* exposure to profiles that make you feel bad.
In fact, a phase of rapid adoption of social media (in the 1st experiment) showed no signs of decline in face-to-face interaction. This finding surprised everyone.
University of Kansas scientists debunked the myth that social media decreases* face-to-face communication.
They carried out two experiments and found no evidence to support that. People’s use of social media had no relationship to who and how much they were talking to in real life.
Feature Image Credit: shutterstock.com
Inpost Image Credit: shutterstock.com