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Nothing beats human interaction when it comes to venting, MSU study finds

MSU researchers survey over 400 university students to gauge benefits of venting via social media
Nothing beats human interaction when it comes to venting, new study finds
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jun 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-05 09:53:58-04

LANSING, Mich. — New research coming from Michigan State University shows using social media to vent your frustrations isn’t as good as venting to an actual human being.

Researchers at MSU say they surveyed 403 university students.

Venting on social media

The research found that people who use social media for social support had more reports of negative mental health symptoms like depression and isolation. Those who chose to express their frustrations to another human being reported fewer instances of negative mental health impacts.

The study was published in the journal Addictive Behaviors back in April.

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown, a Texas psychiatrist who wasn't involved in the study, says venting online isn't bad, but nothing beats human interaction.

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown, a Texas psychiatrist who wasn't involved in the study, says venting online isn't bad, but nothing beats human interaction.

“There’s an element of physical touch, handshakes, hugs that help people feel connected with each other. We know that certain elements of touch can increase oxytocin in the brain That’s considered to be the bonding hormone. It's things like that that you just can’t get when you’re communicating with people via an online platform," Brown said.

Brown says the pandemic changed how people relate to each other and sees many benefits to using social media to connect.

The pandemic changed how people relate to each other

The study also found that problematic social media use has many similarities to other addictive behaviors like withdrawal symptoms and irritability when prevented from using the medium.

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