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Study links social media to loneliness

07 Sep 2015
Tipo Headshot


amaysim's content guy

Your newsfeed is like a packet of liquorice candy – full of all sorts. You’ve got the ‘Likers’, the ‘Lurkers’, the ‘Campaigners’, and the ‘Selfie Kings and Queens’, to name a few.

As these nicknames suggest, there are patterns to our behaviour on social media that are influenced by things like our age gender, friendship circles and personality types. But how does ‘relationship status’ affect the way we use social media?

Most newsfeed’s are often a mix of party pics, news articles, advertisements, wedding announcements and dramatic posts, but have you noticed that updates from your single friends are appearing at the top of the ‘Most popular posts’ more often than others? If you answered yes, then it might not be all in your head. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, in America recently released a report that discussed the broad differences between the activities of married vs. single people. And when it comes to ‘staying in touch with other people, not in person, for non-work-related reasons’, (including social media) aka hanging out on Facebook, the report found ‘Single’ people did it on average for 12 minutes a day while married people spent just seven minutes a day doing it.

Now spending more time as a singleton on social media might just be because you have more time to yourself in general. This seems to be backed up by Relationships Australia who released some interesting research that found a connection between the use of social networking technology and loneliness. They found that lonely people were more likely to use social media, especially Facebook, than people who weren’t lonely. Now that’s not to say all single people are lonely (for me it spells Nutella-themed Netflix marathons and I’m pretty sure that’s as good as it gets) but it could contribute to the amount of time spent checking out your crush’s Facebook profile.

So what’s the link between relationship status and social media activity? It appears that single people spend on average more time on social media than people in a relationship. And some of that extra time might be because they have more time to themselves.

Do you think the researchers got it right? Or do you reckon having an epic data allowance (like the ones available on our awesome UNLIMITED plans #ShamelessPlug) has bumped up how much time we spend on social media in general? Let us know in the comments if your social media use has changed based on whether you’re in a relationship or not.

Cheers, Tipo - amaysim's content guy