Digital addiction, technology addiction, social media addiction- there’s a lot of concern with how much time we spend using digital technology. Endless studies have revealed horrifying conclusions. We’ll be blind, more depressed, and more addicted to digital screens the more we use them. Social media was supposed to be a connecting force, making people all over the world feel like they have access to all the rest of the world’s people. Instead, it increased feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression. Social media use causes anxiety, difficulties in concentration, and has been reported to cause similar effects in the brain to cocaine. Now, research suggests, social media platforms like Facebook might contribute to a longer life.
Does that mean even more time spent in the clutch of digital technology? Possibly. What researchers are indicating is a life that feels more rich in social connection, as opposed to social isolation. With the impending introduction and integration of virtual reality, people are on their way to feeling closer to other people in the digital world as they do in the real world. Socially, interactions online have many of the same components of relationships offline. The research found that more friends online equals a longer life as opposed to less friends online.
Low mortality rates were found among those who had “moderate use” of Facebook out of the 12 million profiles and health records made available to the study. In addition, the more one is requested to be a friend, the less likely they are to have an early mortal passing.
In terms of socialization, it is important for one to feel socially included, admired, and desired. Though this research contradicts some earlier findings regarding online relationships, it neglects some of the core: quality over quantity. Having thousands of followers or friends is easy to do by manipulating certain algorithms or spending a lot of time online. How quality those relationships are will still continue to contribute to overall well being and most likely mortality rate.
Enlightened Solutions believes in the power of human to human connection. We place our clients in the middle of a recovery focused community and encourage healthy relationships among their peers. Treating substance use issues and co-occurring mental health disorders, Enlightened offers a holistic approach to treatment of mind, body, and spirit. For more information, call 833-801-5483.
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