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.
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.
“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 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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