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Behavioural aspects of use of social media and its impact on loneliness

Logrosan, Ivan, Silberschmidt, Joy, Sanap, Rujuta Kishor and Brandolini d’Adda, Giulia (2021) Behavioural aspects of use of social media and its impact on loneliness. Journal of Health Policy and Economics, 1 (1). ISSN 2732-4729

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The present paper investigates the existence of a relationship between the increasing use of social media, behaviours giving rise to the phenomenon of social shaming, social compliance, and loneliness. The empirical data used in this work targets a sample of women aged 18 to 22 years, living in the state of Michigan, US. The first analysis performed, using publicly available social media data, indicates mixed results on the impact of social media on the perception of loneliness. Although the number of loneliness-related conversations increases, half of the sample argues feeling less lonely when connected. The second analysis performed consists of several ordinary least squares regressions based on a loneliness index. The results do not demonstrate any significant effect of social media on loneliness. Furthermore, data shows that social media nullifies the effects of social shaming on loneliness. The research concludes that loneliness is a multi-faceted problem, one that is not necessarily resolved through the introduction of policies targeting a single specific cause. It was also indicated from the analysis that social media can alleviate the problem of loneliness, however subjected to further research on broader population group.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C8 - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs > C80 - General
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2023 09:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:13

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