The growing influence of social networks in our lives (2023)

Social media usage has skyrocketed over the past decade and a half. while onlyfive percentof adults in the United States who reported using a social media platform in 2005, that number has now increased70 percent.

The growing number of people using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat and other social media platforms - and the time spent doing so - has sparked interest and concern among policymakers, teachers, parents and physicians about the impact of social media on our lives awakened life and psychological well-being.

Even if the search is still in its infancy – Facebook itself has just celebrated its 15th anniversaryºAnniversary this year - researchers in media psychology are beginning to figure out how the time spent on these platforms affects our daily lives and not.

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Social Media and Relationships

A particularly pernicious concern is whether time spent on social media sites is consuming personal time, a phenomenon known associal repression.

Fears of social displacement are old, as old as the telephone and probably even older. "This displacement problem has been around for more than 100 years," says Jeffrey Hall, PhD, director of the University of Kansas' Laboratory of Relationships and Technology. "Whatever the technology," says Hall, "there's always a cultural belief that it replaces face-to-face time with our closest friends and family."

Hall's research challenges this cultural belief. On oneto study, participants kept a daily log of the time they spent on 19 different activities during the weeks they were in, and were not asked to refrain from using social media. In weeks when people abstained from social media, they spent more time surfing the internet, working, cleaning, and doing chores around the house. However, during the same periods of abstinence, there was no difference in how long people were exposed to their strongest social ties.

The result? "I tend to think, when I look at my own work and then read the work of others, that there is very little evidence that social media directly replaces meaningful interactions with close relationship partners," says Hall. One possible reason for this is that we tend to interact with our loved ones through a number of different modalities — such as text messages, emails, phone calls, and face-to-face time.

And the youngsters?

When it comes to teenagers, a new oneto studyvonJean Twenge, Ph. go to parties, the movies, or drive cars together—compared to high school seniors in the late 1980s. Overall, this decline has been linked to increased use of digital media. However, at an individual level, greater social media use was positively associated with greater face-to-face social interaction. The study also found that teens who spent more time on social media and less time in face-to-face social interactions reported more loneliness.

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While Twenge and her colleagues posit that face-to-face interactions between teens may be declining due to increasing time spent in digital media, Hall says there's a possibility the relationship could go the other way.

Hall cites the work of Danah Boyd, PhD, principal investigator of theMicrosoft searchand founder ofdata and society. “She [Boyd] says it's not like teenagers are crowding out their personal time through social media. Rather, she argues that we have reversed causality," says Hall. “We are increasingly restricting teenagers from spending time with their peers. . . and they are turning to social media to boost it.”

According to Hall, both phenomena can occur together — restrictive upbringing can lead to social media use, and social media use can reduce the amount of time teens spend together in person — but the focus on the latter places more blame on teens for societal forces also working in the community game are.

The evidence is clear on one thing: social media is popular with teenagers. ACommon Sense Media Report 2018found that 81% of teens use social media and more than a third report using social media several times an hour. These stats have increased dramatically over the past six years, likely due to increased access to mobile devices. Along with these statistics, there is a growing interest in the impact that social media has on the cognitive development and psychological well-being of teenagers.

“What we've generally found is that social media represents bothrisks and opportunitiesfor young people,” saysKaveri Subrahmanyam, PhD, Developmental Psychologist, Professor at Cal State LA and Associate Director of theChildren's Digital Media Center, Los Angeles.

(Video) How social media can change the world. | Animesh Bhatt | TEDxNUV

Risks of expanding social networks

Social media benefits teenagers by expanding their social networks and keeping them in touch with distant peers, friends and family members. It's also an outlet for creativity. In the Common Sense Media report, more than a quarter of teens said that "social media is 'extremely' or 'very' important for them to express themselves creatively."

But there are also risks. Common Sense Media's survey found that 13% of teenagers said they had been bullied online at least once. And social media can be a channel for accessing inappropriate content, such as violent images or pornography. Almost two-thirds of teens who use social media said they “often” or “sometimes” encounter racist, sexist, homophobic, or religiously hateful content on social media.

With all these benefits and risks, how does social media affect cognitive development? "What we found at the Children's Digital Media Center is that much of the use of digital communication, and particularly social media use, appears to be associated with offline developmental issues," says Subrahmanyam. "If you look at the youth development literature, the core issues that young people face are sexuality, identity and intimacy," says Subrahmanyam.

Her research suggests that different types of digital communication may involve different developmental issues. For example, she found that teenagers often talked about sexchat rooms, while the use of blogs and social media seems to be of more concernself-expression and identityConstruction.

In particular, self-exploration seems to be a key benefit of visually focused social media sites for teenagers. "Whether it's Facebook or Instagram, there's a lot of strategic self-expression and it seems to be in the service of identity," says Subrahmanyam. "I think where it gets gray is that we don't know if this is necessarily beneficial or detrimental."

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remaining questions

"It's important to develop a coherent identity," she says. "But in the context of social media -- when it's not clear that people are necessarily concerned with genuine self-expression and there are many ideal or false self-expressions -- is that good?"

There are also more questions than answers when it comes to how social media affects the development of intimate relationships during adolescence. Does a broad network of contacts - as is common in social networks - lead to more superficial interactions and hinder intimacy? Or, perhaps more importantly, "Is the support you get online as effective as the support you get offline?" muses Subrahmanyam. "We don't necessarily know that."

Based on her own research comparing texting and face-to-face interactions, she says: “My hypothesis is that maybe digital interactions can be a little more fleeting, they're a little more fleeting and you feel good, but that feeling is quickly lost compared to face-to-face interaction “.

However, she notes that today's teens—as tech natives—may be less caught up in the online/offline dichotomy.We tend to think of online and offline as separate, but we need to acknowledge that for young people. . . There's a lot more flow and connection between real and physical and offline and online,” she says.

In fact, growing up with digital technology can change teen brain development in ways we don't yet know — and these changes, in turn, can transform teens' relationships with technology. "Because exposure to technology occurs so early, we need to be aware of the possibility that there might be changes at the neural level with early exposure," says Subrahmanyam. "How young people engage with technology can differ qualitatively from our approach."

(Video) How Social Media is Destroying Society

Emsecond part of this article, we will examine how social media affects psychological well-being and how social media can be used to amplify its benefits and reduce its harms.


1. How Social Networks Have Changed The World!
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2. The Simple Reason Why Social Media is RUINING Your Life | Jordan Peterson
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3. Neuroscientist - What Overusing Social Media Does To Your Brain
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5. You Will Wish You Watched This Before You Started Using Social Media | The Twisted Truth
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6. How the Internet Is Changing Friendship
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