Does Social Media Create Isolation?

Jordan Ivey, Staff Writer

An argument that has barley been around for a decade, has been such a hot button that usually has advocates strongly in favor of it or just as strongly against it. The main argument is whether social media creates further isolation or does the opposite by connecting people more so than ever before. Usually the young adults of this generation enthusiastically defend social media and argue that it helps people to explore and communicate better while reaching more people than ever in less time. Meanwhile, the older generation argues that social media is separating families and friends and has become such a bad influence towards the younger age groups by distracting them from more important endeavors.

Multiple studies have followed this debate to see how social media is influencing our day and age. But since social media has only been out for a short while, studies haven’t officially confirmed the long term effects of social media. One particular study done showed a different perspective on this topic. One of the leaders in this study, Brain Primack, (a Director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh) has mentioned that social media can affect everyone in different ways. He talked about how people who feel lonely can go on social media and feel better than they ever did before. Meanwhile, someone else might feel fine until they go on social media and then they begin to feel lonely. This is baffling. Primack said, “It could be that when people feel socially isolated, they go online a lot in an attempt to feel less lonely… Or it might be that spending a lot of time on social media makes people feel isolated.” (Brian Primack) This research is moving forward and will need to continue being monitored, but Primack still encourages people to use social media.

With this information, I believe that social media may not be as big of a “threat” as most people seem to think it is. If you are on it all the time, it may very well be an issue for you., but multiple studies show that teenagers and young adults aren’t actually on social media as much as people perceive. If someone is on social media and feels lonely because of it, it’s up to them to fix their mood and change their life schedule to improve their thoughts and environment.