I remember when I decided to create a twitter account when I was a Sophomore in college. I had about 70 followers which consisted of friends from school and other friends outside of school. I made my first couple of tweets so that my followers could see that I had a twitter and that my tweets needed some love and affection (likes, retweets, comments). Well, I didn’t receive any retweets or comments, but I got 2 likes (at the least). I felt excluded, felt like twitter was underrated, and I felt like Casper, visible but invisible. I realize now that I was going through a season that’s very common upon millennials today, social isolation.
A girl that I knew in college was entering her Sophomore year and went through a tremendous amount of social isolation. By nature she was already an introvert, but she had a group of friends that she was comfortable enough to hang around. She was dealing with some issues of peer pressure and isolation issues from her friends. In order to deal with these issues she cleaned to social media more than ever. She had so much time to do this since she separated herself from her friends.Social isolation is defined as having little or no contact with other people. It usually lasts for extended periods of time. Social isolation is different from loneliness, in that loneliness is a state of emotion that is felt by individuals who are not satisfied with their social connections.
Social isolation is caused by a variety of things. According to different studies, social media, along with the internet, seems to be the root effect of people being socially isolated. Young adults in between the ages of 16-24 are most likely to feel lonely and isolated when spending too much time online. From experience, college students are most likely the ones to experience social isolation. College students spend a majority of their time on their cell phones and according to YouGov poll, young people are more likely to feel lonely than older people.
College students go through of variety of different situations that cause them to be attracted to their phones and/or social media. Whether it be college or university students, they all have a want and/or need to be included and connecting with others. Semantic scholars, Morahan-Martin and Schumacher, states that “problematic Internet users tend to be technologically sophisticated but socially lonely individuals who tend to feel more competent and disinhibited when online.” When sensing the feeling of loneliness or peer pressure, students find it safer to clean and interact with social media rather than other people.
According to a new paper published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, people who are active on various social media platforms for more than two hours per day are twice as likely to experience social isolation than those who spent less than half an hour. One of the main reasons why social networks are causing loneliness among young adults is because social techniques are going out the window. Teens today are not equipped with learning how to communicate in order to make new friends. When being in an environment that causes them to interact and socialize with others elevates their stress level. This drives them to social media because is this where they’re most comfortable.
If you know someone that is taking up this emotional effect, please don’t hesitate to open up your space to them and prevent other effects from happening (depression, stress, and/or suicide). Start today and change the world to make it a better place.