Social Media is no Panacea for Loneliness

A new study finds that spending more time on social media platforms is actually linked to a higher likelihood of feeling socially isolated. Although it's possible that increased social media use could help alleviate feelings of social isolation, increased social media use could also have the opposite effect in young adults, by limiting in-person interactions, the researchers wrote in the study.  In addition, social media can give people the impression that others are leading happier lives, because people sometimes portray themselves unrealistically online, the researchers wrote.

"It's possible that young adults who initially felt socially isolated turned to social media. Or, it could be that their increased use of social media somehow led to feeling isolated from the real world. It could also be a combination of both," said senior study author Dr. Elizabeth Miller. "But even if the social isolation came first, it did not seem to be alleviated by spending time online, even in purportedly social situations.”

Sara G. Miller, Live Science