Social Media Makes Us Lonely? (Weekend Reading)

Social MediaAfter a brief hiatus, Weekend Reading makes its triumphant return to Hope 4 Hurting Kids with an interesting theory – Increased use of social media leaves teens and kids (and probably all of us) feeling more isolated.

In this report on a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Zawn Villines explains:

High levels of social media use are linked to greater feelings of social isolation, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Previous research on social media’s mental health effects is mixed. A 2015 study reported higher rates of unaddressed mental health concerns among teens who frequently use social media. A 2016 analysis found people who compare themselves to others on social media may experience depression. The same study also contends that users who rely on social media to access social support may experience a decline in depression…

People who spent more time on social media sites were more likely to perceive and report high levels of isolation. Specifically, those who spent 121 minutes or more on social media daily were more likely to indicate isolation than those who spent 30 minutes or less on social media.

Questions on Social Media for Further Reflection and Discussion

  1. How do you feel after long periods online on social networks?
  2. How and where have you seen the impact of social networks on kids?
  3. Why do you think online interaction makes us feel lonelier?
  4. How do you think this phenomenon plays out in society?
  5. Do you believe that the increase in online activity has impacted people’s ability to interact with people in person? If so, how?

For more awesome resources for learning about and dealing with emotions, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.

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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at