Social Media and Loneliness

Hiking group standing together outdoors

It might have been a surprise for a lot of people when Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, suggested that we spend less time on social media.

After all, the entire business model of Twitter, and other social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, require that people spend enormous amounts of time on the platform. It’s no secret that these companies make money through advertising, and advertising is only profitable when it is viewed by people.

Which means, essentially, that it’s not in the best interest of these companies that their customers be away from their phones and computers, living in the real world, and having real world relationships.

Loneliness and isolation is a real problem in today’s digital world. The Harvard School of Education says that "36% of all Americans—including 61% of young adults and 51% of mothers with young children—feel 'serious loneliness.'" Much of this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. But a great deal of that is due to our increasing reliance on social media to occupy our times.

According to Regis University 70% of adults in the U.S. have social media accounts, yet over 20% of adults feel lonely and isolated. And this is bad for your health.

does social media create isolation?

In fact, according to the article, loneliness and isolation, a lack of social connection with other people, is equal to smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Let’s let that sink in for a moment: Loneliness and isolation have a serious impact on people’s physical health, resulting in the increase of stress, depression, and insomnia. 

The real trouble comes when people try to replace real, genuine human connection with social media, because social media is not, well, human.

So, what’s the answer? According to The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, real, genuine social connection has a number of positive effects on health and happiness. Such as, 50% increased chance of longevity, lower rates of anxiety and depression, high self esteem and empathy for others, and a general sense of physical well being. 

Now, who wouldn’t want that?

Boonoob is a platform that helps people build communities around real world activities. Participating in social activities, in the real world, helps to stop the downward spiral of constant social media usage, which is not so much about creating connectedness, as much as it is about passive consumption of entertainment. Download the app at the Apple Store and Google Play.

About Boonoob

Boonoob is an app that helps people build communities around real-world activities. Download it at the App Store and Google Play.