Social media has fast become the cornerstone of communication in the modern digital world. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok provide endless feeds of photos, videos, discussions, news, and entertainment.
According to Pew Research, 69% of older adults in the U.S. use Facebook. Instagram and Snapchat are used by 67% and 62% respectively among 18-29-year-olds. While these numbers may seem high, perhaps even more sobering is that 74% of Facebook users visit the site several times a day even if they suspect little has changed. Over 76% of Instagram users visit the site daily, and 60% do so multiple times a day.
Social media has become the dominant means for sharing our lives with others; however, we often find ourselves lost in countless hours of mindless scrolling, posting, liking, and commenting– often with a significant amount of time spent on site. Is it this endless use of social media truly social or does its addictive potential contribute to an anti-social form of social connection and intimacy?