Need to vent? Turn to real-life support, not social media
Social media may make it easier for people to engage online, but it does not provide a lot of the benefits of real-life human interactions. Problematic social media use is not a recognized addictive disorder, but there are similarities in the symptoms of someone with a substance use disorder and a person displaying excessive social media use.
Forming beliefs in a world of filter bubbles
By talking to other people and observing their behavior, we can learn new things, acquire new skills, and adapt to changing conditions. But what if the information provided by the social environment is inconsistent or contradictory? The internet, in particular, has dramatically changed the structure and dynamics of social interactions.
Some friends make you feel more supported than others
It’s good to have friends and family to back you up when you need it—but your sense of being supported is even greater if they belong, in a sense, to the same tribe.
Rituals lead to anxiety relief
Office life has rituals which help to make work bearable—even though work stress has increased by 200 percent over the last ten years. However, innovations such as hot desking, flexible working, and home-based working have been gradually stripping us of this aspect of our daily routine.
Social media platforms can contribute to dehumanizing people
Online platforms can normalize hatred and contribute to dehumanization. The wider problem is the dehumanizing of so many aspects of our society, leading to mental illness and a diminution of the value of human beings in general.
Age, gender and culture 'predict loneliness'
A young man living in an individualistic society—such as Australia, the UK or the US—is more likely to report feeling lonely than an older woman in a collectivist society—such as China or Brazil.
COVID-19: The downside of social distancing
When faced with danger, humans draw closer together. Social distancing thwarts this impulse. Does this dilemma pose a greater threat to society than overtly antisocial behavior?
Lessons from the Spanish flu: Early restrictions lowered disease, mortality rates
Not everyone in 1918 and 1919 thought the strict measures were appropriate or effective at the time, but cities that adopted early, broad isolation and prevention measures had lower disease and mortality rates. However, the biggest danger in the current epidemic is loneliness brought on by enforced isolation.
"Feeling obligated" can impact relationships during social distancing
In a time where many are practicing ‘social distancing’ from the outside world, people are relying on their immediate social circles more than usual. Does a sense of obligation—from checking on parents to running an errand for an elderly neighbor—benefit or harm a relationship?
Greater well-being comes from smaller social networks
Loneliness is becoming an epidemic in our society affecting people of all ages. Many physical and psychiatric diseases are directly tied to it, including dementia, heart disease and schizophrenia. Without sufficient face-to-face contact the psychic and physical immune systems prepare for death.
The Internet may be changing our brains
It’s clear the Internet has drastically and negatively altered the opportunity for social interactions, and the contexts within which social relationships can take place.
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