Published: Apr 17, 2014 8:16 AM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Recent studies show that social media may affect our mental health and well-being.  Dr. Annette St. Pierre-Mackoul joined WINK News This Morning to discuss it further.

History of Social Media:

  • 1971 - first email was delivered
  • 1980 - dial up internet was launched
  • Social networking sites = Twitter and Facebook
  • 1 in 4 people use networking sites

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Statistics on Social Media:

  • Facebook = 1.2 billion users every month.
  • 42% of online adults use multiple social networking sites.
  • Majority are under the age of 30 years.
  • 45% of internet users 65 years or older are on Facebook.
  • Americans spend 7.6 hours a month on social media.
  • Majority of people access social networking through cell phones.
  • 63% American Facebook users log on daily.
  • 40% log on more than once daily.
  • Social Networking used more by anxious and socially insecure people.

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Studies on Social Media:

  • 2012:  Facebook feeds anxiety and increases a person's feeling of inadequacy.
  • 2012: Facebook's effects on emotions.
  • 2013:  Facebook makes us miserable.
  • 2013:  Several studies with negative results on emotional health
  • 2014:  Many studies ongoing.  "Happy Study"

 
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Advantages of Social Media:

  • Fulfills the need for social connections.
  • Easy communication through email.
  • Stay connected with others
  • Self distraction and boredom relief
  • Reinforcement from supportive comments and 'likes.'
  • Gain attention and boost self-esteem

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Disadvantages of Social Media:

  • Undermines social connections.
  • Addiction is common
  • BFAS = Berge Facebook Addiction Scale.
  • Facebook 'fame'
  • 52% report negative effect on their lives.
  • 55% report sleep effects.
  • Social bullying / cyber bullying (95% witness/33% victims)
  • 1971 - first email was delivered
  • 1980 - dial up internet was launched
  • Social networking sites = Twitter and Facebook
  • 1 in 4 people use networking site