Research Question: What is the interrelationship between the usage of social media and loneliness and what effects exist on the general health of the users?

Annotated Bibliography

Cotten, S. R., Anderson, W. A., & McCullough, B. M. (2013). Impact of internet use on loneliness and contact with others among older adults: cross-sectional analysis. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(2). doi:  10.2196/jmir.2306

The aim of this article was to examine the various ways in which the use of the internet affects both perceived personal isolation and loneliness in older adults. The study was done on older adults in the assisted as well as independent living communities. Additionally, the authors examined the perceptions of ways the use of the internet affects both communication and social interaction. The primary argument in the paper is that the usage of information, as well as communication technology, may aid in the older adults maintaining contacts as well as social ties. The methodology used for the collection of data was an ongoing randomized controlled trial intervention. In the study, the older adults were randomized into the groups of ICTs (treatment), attention control (placebo), or true control (no treatment or placebo). The findings of the study were that the use of the internet was not associated with social isolation but was related to a decrease in the loneliness scores. The frequency of going online for adults made it easier to reach people, contributed to increased ability to meet new people, and made it easier to meet new people. Additionally, being online enabled respondents feel less isolated and feel more connected to friends and family. The strength of the article is that it deploys a controlled randomized trial which provide credible results. However, the weakness is that the study only focusses on people of old age and not entire populations. The study will be used to answer the question as to the interrelationship between internet use and loneliness.

McDool, E., Powell, P., Roberts, J., & Taylor, K. (2016). Social Media Use and Children’s Wellbeing. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10412. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2886783

The purpose of this resource was to explore the effect that digital social networking by children has on their subjective well-being. The main argument in the paper is that; one of the elements of childhood which have changed and which have set reverberations on policymakers and other bodies for safeguarding the rights of children is that of the advent of social media. Some of the theories used in the study include the social comparison theory, finite resources, and the theory of cyberbullying which all touch on aspects involved in the use of social networking sites. The data used in the study was obtained from “Understanding Society,” which is a UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) and a representative sample of more than 40,000 UK households. The findings of the study were that spending a significant amount of time on social media serves to reduce the level of satisfaction that children have with the other aspects of their lives safe for the friendships. However, girls were found to suffer more than boys. The strength of this article is that the data examined is not only credible but also reliable. The weakness is, however, that the study focuses on children alone and not the general population. This resource will be useful in answering the research question to the effect that social networking sites increase friendships for young children.

Michael, C. (2014). Social Networks: a medium for dealing with loneliness? Dissertation submitted to Cyprus University of Technology. http://ktisis.cut.ac.cy/handle/10488/8949

In this article, the aim was to make a determination as to whether social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Twitter can aid in the or help people who are lonely to overcome the various feelings which they have of loneliness. The main argument of the study was that people who are lonely may be active on social media but are not the same when it comes to their real lives. The various concepts used include social interaction and loneliness. The study deployed both a qualitative and quantitative data. The data was collected through various methods including questionnaires, interviews, and observations. The design of the questionnaire was that it evaluated the degree of loneliness for the participants. The interviewers and observations complemented the data obtained from the questionnaire analysis. The findings of the study were that lonely people have a tendency of being on social media especially Facebook. However, such a behavior is not maintained in real lives. The strengths of the study are that the use of a mixed method ensures that the quality of data obtained is enhanced. However, the weakness is that the findings of the study are only based on the lonely profiles of the students and not on other people. In the research question, this resource will aid in telling whether the relationship between the use of social media and loneliness is positive or negative.

Olds, J., & Schwartz, R. S. (2009). The lonely American: Drifting apart in the twenty-first century. Beacon Press.

The objective of this book is to review the stubborn stigma associated with ordinary loneliness and offered a discussion of the “cult of busyness” which involves a vicious cycle of staying busy so as to avoid seeming and feeling lonely because there is lack of time to cultivate relationships. Additionally, the book looked at the various effects of social isolation on aspects of the physical health and emotional problems in children, substance abuse, as well as global warming. The primary argument in the resource is that the advent of the internet has resulted in increased loneliness as people do not have time to build relationships which have resulted in health problems. This main argument is substantiated via the use of various concepts and theories. Some of the most notable from the book include the myth of standing apart and social contract which depicts how the internet has separated people from their relations. After a review of the literature, the authors of the book found that the latest technology has resulted in more loneliness which has had adverse effects on the physical health and emotional aspects of the users. The strength of the book is that it relies on a wide variety of sources to substantiate its claims. However, the weakness is the use of secondary information whose reliability cannot be assured. The findings of the study will be used to answer the research question on the point that the use of social media results in increased loneliness and adverse health effects.

U.S. Department of Interior (2010). Social Media Policy. Obtained from https://edit.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/migrated/notices/upload/DOI-Social-Media-Policy-Final-Redacted.pdf

The author of this policy paper aimed at providing a social media and social networking strategy which guides the use of social media. Additionally, the nature of the use of DOI was stated especially on social media. The main point in the policy paper is that although a need arises for the federal agencies to use technology in communicating and engaging with the public, there is a need to regulate the use of DOI in enhancing professional communication and collaboration. The article deployed information from different sources including related federal policies, records management, information quality, as well as intellectual property. The findings of the policy paper were that although employees are allowed to use social media, they ought to seek approval as the user can cut interpersonal communications with the public. Social networking should be used sparingly and without misusing it for personal as opposed to professional reasons. The advantage of this resource is that it relies on data from various sources. However, the disadvantage is that it is a government policy which does not focus on critical aspects but only on those liked by the government. This policy paper will be used in the research question to show the regulation which the government has put on social media use due to its adverse health effects.

Yao, M. Z., & Zhong, Z. J. (2014). Loneliness, social contacts and Internet addiction: A cross-lagged panel study. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, 164-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.08.007

The authors in this article aimed at examining the causal priority between the observed empirical relationships of internet addiction as well as other psychological problems. The main claim of the resource is that when people feel depressed, they have higher levels of internet addiction. Additionally, it was the argument of the authors that loneliness leads to higher levels of internet addiction. To substantiate these claims, the authors deployed the concepts of problematic use of the internet (PUI) and internet addiction (IAD). The authors used a cross-lagged panel survey of 361 college students in Hong Kong. The finding of the study was that the excessive and unhealthy use of the internet serves to increase the feelings of loneliness over time. Additionally, the results demonstrated that the internet addiction results in the adverse health effects of depression. The strength of this resource is that it has reliable and credible findings based on the use of primary data. The weakness, on the other hand, is the focus on college students alone which cannot lead to generalization of the findings. The findings will be used to answer the research question on the point that the use of social media results in increased loneliness and adverse health effects of depression.

 

 

References

Cotten, S. R., Anderson, W. A., & McCullough, B. M. (2013). Impact of internet use on loneliness and contact with others among older adults: cross-sectional analysis. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(2). doi:  10.2196/jmir.2306

McDool, E., Powell, P., Roberts, J., & Taylor, K. (2016). Social Media Use and Children’s Wellbeing. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10412. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2886783

Michael, C. (2014). Social Networks: a medium for dealing with loneliness? Dissertation submitted to Cyprus University of Technology. http://ktisis.cut.ac.cy/handle/10488/8949

Olds, J., & Schwartz, R. S. (2009). The lonely American: Drifting apart in the twenty-first century. Beacon Press.

U.S. Department of Interior (2010). Social Media Policy. Obtained from https://edit.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/migrated/notices/upload/DOI-Social-Media-Policy-Final-Redacted.pdf

Yao, M. Z., & Zhong, Z. J. (2014). Loneliness, social contacts and Internet addiction: A cross-lagged panel study. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, 164-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.08.007

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