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Negative Experiences on Social Media Platform Can Make You Feel Lonely

Because social media is so pervasive, it is critically important that we better understand why this is happening and how we can help people navigate social media without as many negative consequences, wrote researchers

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Negative experiences on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter increase the odds of feeling lonely especially among young adults, a new study has found.

Positive interactions on social media are not making young adults feel more connected, whereas negative experiences increase the likelihood of them reporting loneliness, said scientists from the University of Pittsburgh’s Centre for Research on Media Technology and Health (MTH).

“Social media is, seemingly, about connecting people. So it is surprising and interesting that our investigations reveal social media being linked to loneliness,” said lead author Brian Primack, Director of Pitt’s MTH.

Perceived social isolation, which is a synonym for loneliness, is associated with poor health outcomes, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and depression, he added in a paper published in the journal American Journal of Health Promotion.

Primack and his team surveyed 1,178 students aged 18 to 30 about their social media use, to what extent their experiences were positive or negative, and their level of perceived loneliness.

Loneliness Can Worsen Mental Health And Can Double The Risk Of Dying
Negative experiences on Facebook will make you lonely. Pixabay

For every 10 per cent increase in negative experiences on social media, the participants reported a 13 per cent increase in feelings of loneliness.

However, for every 10 per cent increase in positive experiences on social media, the participants reported no statistically significant change in feelings of loneliness.

“There is a tendency for people to give greater weight to negative experiences and traits compared with positive ones, and this may be particularly relevant when it comes to social media,” said study author Jaime Sidani.

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“Health practitioners may encourage the public to be more cognizant and thoughtful regarding their online experiences, thereby interrupting a potential cycle of negative experiences and loneliness,” added Primack.

Because social media is so pervasive, it is critically important that we better understand why this is happening and how we can help people navigate social media without as many negative consequences, wrote researchers. (IANS)

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Political ad Spend on Facebook Picks up in April

The 2019 Lok Sabha election is being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19

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FILE - The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

Political parties and their affiliates ramped up spending on social media ads ahead of the third phase of Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for Tuesday, show data released by Facebook Ad Library.

Indians spent around Rs 7 crore for running political ads on Facebook and Instagram in the first 20 days of April, while the amount spent on these platforms in February-March was about Rs 10 crore.

Facebook’s Ad Library, a searchable database, includes ads related to politics and issues of national importance run on Facebook or Instagram.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates continue to lead the ad spending on Facebook. The official BJP page took the top spot in the list of spenders on social media platforms. Of the Rs 1.3 crore that it spent on Facebook, Rs 44.32 lakh was spent during the week ending April 20.

The official Congress page on Facebook spent Rs 56.69 lakh during February-April 20.

However, supporters and affiliates of political parties account for most of the spending on the social media platforms.

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FILE – An Indian man surfs a Facebook page at an Internet cafe in New Delhi, India, Feb. 9, 2016. VOA

For example, the pro-BJP pages — Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat (Rs 2.23 core), My First Vote For Modi (Rs 1.08 crore) and Nation with NaMo (Rs 1.20 crore) among others — spent much more than the Congress.

Similarly, the pro-Congress page “Bande Mein Hai Dum” spent Rs 2.59 lakh for drumming up support for the grand old party on Facebook and the Indian Youth Congress spent Rs 6.52 lakh on the social media platform.

Among the regional parties, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) lead the spending table on Facebook.

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On Twitter, the accounts spending over $100 during the past week belonged to BJP MLA from Mandawa Narendra Kumar, Mumbai Congress unit chief Milind Deora, Congress leader and former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahai, BJD President Naveen Patnaik and the TN Youth Party.

The 2019 Lok Sabha election is being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. (IANS)