Link Between Social Media Use and Poor Physical Health

“Social media use has become an integral part of many young adults’ daily lives,” mentioned David Lee, PhD, the paper’s first writer and assistant professor of communication within the UB College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s critical that we understand how engagement across these platforms contributes to physical health.”

The findings seem within the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

For many years, researchers have devoted consideration to how social media engagement pertains to customers’ psychological well being, however its results on bodily well being haven’t been totally investigated. Recent surveys point out social media utilization is especially excessive for folks of their late teenagers and early 20s, a inhabitants that spends about six hours a day texting, on-line or utilizing social media. And although a number of research have discovered hyperlinks between social media utilization and bodily well being, that analysis associated largely on self-reporting or the consequences of utilization with completely one platform.

“Our goal was to extend prior work by examining how social media use across several platforms is associated with physical health outcomes measured with biological, behavioral and self-report measures,” mentioned Lee, an skilled on well being outcomes associated to social interactions.

Researchers recruited a various pattern of 251 undergraduate college students between the ages of 18 and 24 for the research. Blood samples have been collected by way of finger sticks, and individuals additionally accomplished questionnaires on bodily well being and social media utilization on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, the preferred platforms on the time the information have been collected in 2017. Those responses have been crosschecked with one other survey that measured validity by figuring out the diploma to which individuals took their function within the research significantly.

“We were able to establish a correlation between the amount of social media use and these physical health indicators,” mentioned Lee. “The more participants used social media, the more somatic symptoms they experienced and visits to the doctor they reported. They also showed higher levels of chronic inflammation.”

Lee says this research is only the start of understanding the connection between social media and bodily well being.

“By looking at a biological marker in the blood, we were able to find a relatively more objective association between social media usage and physical health, but this correlational finding can’t rule out the possibility that poor health impacts social media usage,” mentioned Lee.

Lee says the aphorism might maintain true with social media use and bodily well being: The wealthy get richer whereas the poor get poorer. “In our previous research, we found those high in self-esteem benefited from using social media, but people low in self-esteem did not. So, the effect may be more nuanced.”

“There’s still work to be done,” mentioned Lee. “But right now, I wanted to get the word out there that social media use may have a link to important physical health outcomes.”

Lee’s analysis group for the present research included colleagues from The Ohio State University: Tao Jiang, a graduate scholar; Jennifer Crocker, PhD, professor of social psychology; and Baldwin Way, PhD, affiliate professor of psychology.

Source: Eurekalert

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