This week a study was published which claims that negative experiences on social media might have a bigger impact on a person’s mental state than positive experiences.

Before we dive into the results we need to look at how this study was conducted. The study was done via an online survey at a mid-Atlantic university with a total of 1 178 students between the ages of 18 and 30. The average age of participants was 20 and 62 percent of participants were female.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

With that out of the way, onto the study.

Participants were asked to complete a survey which assessed social media use and perceived social isolation (PSI).

“We assessed positive and negative experiences on SM [social media] by directly asking participants to estimate what percentage of their SM experiences involved positive and negative experiences, respectively. Social isolation was measured using the established Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures Information System scale,” the study reads.

The findings reveal that a 10 percent increase in negative experiences online was associated with a 13 percent increase in the odds of perceived social isolation.

Positive experiences however, are not associated with social isolation.

“Having positive experiences on SM is not associated with lower social isolation, whereas having negative experiences on SM is associated with higher social isolation. These findings are consistent with the concept of negativity bias, which suggests that humans tend to give greater weight to negative entities compared with positive ones,” the conclusion of the study reads.

So what can you do to lessen the feeling of dread when you have negative experiences on social media? The obvious answer is to turn your back on social media but if that isn’t really an option for you perhaps it’s time to curate your timelines.

You can also just take a break from social media for a while.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]