Unplug: Social Media Makes Us More Alone

By Georgia Lamb and Lina Malmo, Guest Writers

The first thing people see when they open up Facebook is the slogan, “connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook.” Connecting with people has never been so easy.
Anna Caltabiano, writer for the Huffington Post, said that social media can become addictive and it creates a “dangerous illusion of being connected” through thinking these connections are sufficient replacements for real personal relationships.

Recently, Kelly Bauer, of shapemindsoul.com, made a reference to teenagers being called “screenagers” because of their obsession with smartphones and tablets to fulfill social needs rather than in-person interactions.
In a research study by the International Center for Media & Public Agenda published in the Huffington Post, researchers found that social media users put more time and effort into building online relationships, which causes their real-life connections diminish.

Similarly, Mail Online published that professor Song of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found the lonelier someone is, the longer they spend on Facebook. Cutting out personal relationships in favor of online relationships has actually been scientifically proven to bring loneliness and feelings of stress. According to shapemindsoul.com, personal relationships allow the brain to release feel-good chemicals, relieving negative feelings and help people bond on an emotional level.

As college students, not taking the time to cultivate personal relationships will be detrimental not only to your personal health, but also to your ability to connect with others in your future career field. If you’re feeling bogged down by stress or loneliness, a simple solution is just to power down!

 

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