Study: Over 2 Hours of Social Media Creates 'Social Isolation'

"It may not be the solution people were hoping for.”

Binge on social media for over two hours and face the coldness of social media, says a new study by Brian A. Primack of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health.

According to Primack, social media may not be forging the connections people initially thought, leading to a state of social isolation in young adults that use it excessively.  

“Primack and his team examined questionnaires in 2014 from 1,787 Americans between the ages of 19 and 32. The surveys sought to see how often the participants logged onto the 11 most popular social networks and how much time a typical session would last,” reported “Those who spent more than two hours a day on social media were twice as likely to show signs of social isolation than participants who spent no more than 30 minutes on the sites.”

“Similarly, young adults who visited the sites at least 58 times in a week were triple the odds of feeling socially isolated than those who only logged onto social media nine times in a week,” they continued. “This held true even when demographic and other control factors were taken into consideration.”

Primack warns that this has become an epidemic that severely damages the social fabric that bridges us, which modern life has severely crippled. Social media, he says, has may not be the "solution people were hoping for." 

“This is an important issue to study because mental health problems and social isolation are at epidemic levels among young adults,” Primack claimed. “We are inherently social creatures, but modern life tends to compartmentalize us instead of bringing us together… While it may seem that social media presents opportunities to fill that social void, I think this study suggests that it may not be the solution people were hoping for.”

He does concede that social media may offer connection to some people, but on the whole, it has only isolated them.  

“I don’t doubt that some people using certain platforms in specific ways may find comfort and social connectedness via social media relationships,” he continued. “However, the results of this study simply remind us that, on the whole, use of social media tends to be associated with increased social isolation and not decreased social isolation.”