Social networks could make your loneliness worse

relationships, social media, loneliness, Happiness

Social networks could make your loneliness worse

Social networks allow us to connect 24/7 with an unlimited number of people. However, this form of “connection” is leaving many people as lonely, or perhaps more lonely, than ever.

While people who are safe and outgoing generally use social networks to improve the connections they have developed in person, insecure people seek to develop and maintain their relationships, and often prefer social networks to communication in person. Electronic communications often feel safer, providing a buffer for negative social experiences, whether they struggle with poor social skills or have social anxiety (despite having good social skills). As a result, they may have less social interactions or less deeply connected relationships, which can make them feel more alone.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Research Center on Media Technology and Health recently conducted a study that has added to the growing evidence that social networks are causing greater loneliness. The study He compared the ways in which positive and negative experiences in social networks affected loneliness. While the study participants did not experience a change in loneliness after positive experiences on social networks, a worrying trend was found after negative experiences. Participants experienced a 13 percent increase in loneliness for every 10 percent increase in negative experiences.

These findings seem to show that social networks can intensify the general tendency of people to pay more attention to negative experiences than to positive ones. For some people, simply recognizing and recognizing the negative effects of social networks is enough to relieve them. Or it can help you decide to leave social networks at a specific time and participate in activities that feel more positive.

While social networks can increase loneliness in some way, it is not the real problem. To address the real problem, identifying the key contributors to their loneliness. If you think your social skills are weak, you can work on them through individual therapy, a social skills therapy group or a self-help book (although improvement, of course, still requires live practice). If you have good social skills, but you are still very anxious and avoid interactions in person, you should practice being social. This includes slowly increasing the richness of the ways in which you communicate and defying your fears, which are probably out of proportion to any given situation. You may be able to do this on your own, but you may also need the help of a professional.

In both cases, as people become more skilled and comfortable in social situations, they begin to feel more connected and less alone.

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