Social media usage does not impact our sociability or attention span

Social media usage

Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, play an important role in our daily life. As people spend more time on using these social media sites, it is thought that social media usage may affect our cognitive function and sociability.

A typical view is that long-time social media users may have lower ability to concentrate, shorter attention span, and weaker social relationships with others.

However, a recent study shows that social media usage does not lead to changes in cognitive processing and sociability in infrequent and frequent social media users. The finding is published in International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments.

Researchers from Barry University and Florida Institute of Technology conducted the study. A total of 209 adults from a private university in the southeast participated in the study.

All participants completed a questionnaire about the relationships of social media technologies with attention span, time pressure, long-term orientation (focusing on future other than the present), attitude to multitasking, and sociability.

Researchers found that there was no difference in attention spans or sociability in frequent or infrequent users of social media. Furthermore, social media usage was not positively correlated to the long-term orientation, time pressure scale, and attitude to multitasking.

This finding suggest that social media is not a fad as it continues to play an increasing role in people’s lives.

Social media significantly increases worldwide connectivity, enables real-time information sharing, and greatly changes advertising and news publishing.

On the other hand, social media also brings cyber-bullying and crimes against children, fraud and identity theft, and invasion of privacy.

Therefore, it is important to understand how to utilize social media platforms to improve our learning, relationships and business knowledge while reducing there disadvantages.

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Citation: Doss SK, et al. (2016). Episodic social media impact on users. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 4: 273-286. DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2016.079505.
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