SXSW Panel: Is Social Media Making Us Sick?

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Social Media—Facebook, Twitter, blogs—have united the world like never before, enabling connectivity across time and place. Yet despite these assumed benefits of increased communication, research suggests that we have never been lonelier or more anxious, impacting our physical and mental health. Is Social Media making us sick? Join us for what should be a healthy debate on a topic that’s near and dear to our hearts.

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SXSW Panel: Is Social Media Making Us Sick?

  1. 1. Copyright AbelsonTaylor
  2. 2. #SocialSick Bekah Lockner Noah Lowenthal Social Media Manager Digital Creative Director AbelsonTaylor AbelsonTaylor @bekahlockner @nlowen1Copyright AbelsonTaylor
  3. 3. #SocialSick Lots of people are talking about social media and its impact on health. But their sources may not be providing a balanced perspectiveCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  4. 4. #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  5. 5. Recent studies seem to indicate that Social Media has a negative impact on our mental health and happiness. •  Increased envy, isolation •  Decreased self-control • Loneliness #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  6. 6. Recent studies seem to indicate that Social Media hason Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Envy a negative impact on Satisfaction? our mental health 1 Hanna Krasnova* , Helena Wenninger2, Thomas Widjaja2, and Peter Buxmann2 and happiness. “Triggered by over-exposure to social information on a •  Increased (Social Networking Site), envy feelings can cause SNS envy, isolation, significant damage to users’ well-being and impact •  Decreased life satisfaction [11].” their self-control • Loneliness #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  7. 7. University based studies using 18-24 year old students are not broadly representative •  Age •  Income •  Education •  Emotional maturity #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  8. 8. #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  9. 9. •  The goal of our research was to: –  Study a broader, more representative population –  Determine how, if at all, Social Media affects mental and emotional health –  Understand how Social Media is impacting real-world social interaction between individuals •  So, what we mean by “making us sick”? –  Emotional health: Loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety, envy #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  10. 10. Sample & Qualifications: -  Age: 18+ years, quotas for 18-34, 35-49, 50+ -  Gender, Income, Geography, Ethnicity/Race sampled at national representative levels -  Weighting: Age and gender were weighted back to national levels -  All participants have used at least one of the following sites on at least a weekly basis: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, or other social media sites Sample Size: -  Total completed interviews = 318 Field Dates: -  January 25-28, 2013 -  Independent market research vendor, recruited and fielded #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  11. 11. Field Technique: Online Attitude and Usage Survey -  Degree of agreement with attitudinal statements -  Self-reported behavior and use of Social Media Sample Statements: Respondents asked to evaluate statements on a five-point scale, from “Extremely satisfied” to “Not at all satisfied.” •  Having a lot of relationships in my social media space makes me feel accepted •  I really wish I could get away from using social media •  Causes an increase in feelings of depression #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  12. 12. #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  13. 13. Copyright AbelsonTaylor#SocialSick But is it really making us sick? No
  14. 14. Q13. Considering everything, over time, do you think social media usage has…? Base: All Respondents #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  15. 15. The most agreed–to statements about social media are positive and extroverted in nature (top two box) Q12. Now we would like to get a few more of your opinions regarding social media. Please base your answers on your own experience and/or what you may have observed regarding others. Base: All Respondents (N=318) #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  16. 16. Q.13a - Please describe, as fully as possible, how social media has made you feel (Better/Worse) about yourself. #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  17. 17. Agree that friends/ family doing fun & interesting things on social media without me Q14. We would like to know about how your social media use has made you feel about certain situations. Base: All Respondents (N=318) makes me feel lonely #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  18. 18. Agree that friends/ Agree that seeing family doing fun & other people’s interesting things on accomplishments social media without me causes anxiety makes me feel lonely #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  19. 19. Agree that friends/ Agree that seeing Agree fairly often that family doing fun & other people’s using social media turns interesting things on accomplishments my good mood into a social media without me causes anxiety bad one makes me feel lonely #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  20. 20. #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  21. 21. #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  22. 22. Copyright AbelsonTaylor#SocialSick
  23. 23. Q7. Now we would like to get some further opinions of yours regarding social media. Please base your answers on your own experience and/or what you may have seen or heard from others. Base: All Respondents (N=318) #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  24. 24. Q7. Now we would like to get some further opinions of yours regarding social media. Please base your answers on your own experience and/or what you may have seen or heard from others. Base: All Respondents (N=318) #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  25. 25. Number of Times Socialize In Person in an Average Week Q16A. In the average week during the past 12 months, how many times did you actually socialize with another person(s) in person, that is face-to-face as opposed to virtual socializing via social media networks? Base: All Respondents #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  26. 26. Usage is anticipated to stay the same or increase… Q6A. Over the next 6 months or so, how do you expect your usage of these social media sites will compare to your current usage of them? Base: Use Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Other Social Media Sites #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  27. 27. Social Satisfaction Q15A. Considering everything, how would you rate your satisfaction with your overall social life? Q15B.Considering everything, how would you rate your satisfaction with your social media life? Base: All Respondents (N=318) #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  28. 28. Q3. Please check all of the reasons for which you use each social media site in a typical week. Base: Use Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Other Social Media Sites #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  29. 29. Respondents agree that social media: Respondents do not agree that social media: Q12. Now we would like to get a few more of your opinions regarding social media. Please base your answers on your own experience and/or what you may have observed regarding others. Base: All Respondents (N=318) #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  30. 30. The majority of respondents don’t trust that other’s behavior is the same offline as it is in social media, or they aren’t sure. Expectation of Others’ Behavior in Social Media (%) Q11. Do you trust that people who you are in touch with via social media are the same way with you online as they are off-line/in person? Base: All Respondents #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  31. 31. #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  32. 32. #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  33. 33. • Overall, Social Media does not appear to be negatively impacting our emotional health or happiness • Social Media potentially makes us see ourselves as happier, more connected, friendlier, and more confident • Social Media can create avenues for connecting with distant friends, and strengthens relationships with close friends and family • Social Media use amplifies and mirrors socialization in the real world, both the positive and the negative #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  34. 34. •  Opportunity to shadow users over time, (with a tighter segregation of younger users), observe exactly how they engage, and record their attitudinal data •  Additional research specifically with users who have a diagnosed mental or chronic health condition #SocialSickCopyright AbelsonTaylor
  35. 35. Copyright AbelsonTaylor#SocialSick

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