Lack of response on social media causes loneliness, says study

12 May 2014

A recent study has found that users of social media whose posts remain largely unresponded to have greater levels of anxiety and doubts of self-worth, according to a new study from Australia.

The study looked specifically at Facebook entitled, Does Facebook affect our self-esteem, sense of belonging?, from the Queensland School of Psychology and chose users of the social media site, whether they be casual users or ones who would consider themselves regular visitors.

while perhaps not surprising to some, the initial results showed that Facebook users are not really posting for the good of spreading information, but rather that they hope people will ‘like’ or share their post for a sense of being a part of something or achieving a modicum of self-worth.

As part of the experiment, the participants were split into two studies, the first examining the effect of posting and not posting over a period of two days, while the second encouraged another group of participants to post regularly from an account with half receiving feedback from these posts, while another half were effectively shunned.

The first study showed that people were more likely to have negative feelings from not being able to post than those who weren’t, while in the second study, the users who were ignored showed similar negative feedback about their experience with a high number reporting that they felt almost ‘invisible’ when no one responded to their posts.

Woman with phone image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic