Feelings of social isolation and loneliness felt in young adulthood can have lasting impacts on a person’s life. Young adults report twice as many days lonely and isolated than late and middle-age adults despite reporting larger social networks. Long-term social isolation and loneliness can lead to serious physical and mental health concerns. Depression and other mood disorders can lead to suicide which is the second leading cause of death in individuals aged 10-34. Younger adults can feel more lonely compared to older adults because of social media. As many as 90% of young adults in the U.S. use social media. Studies have found that those who are more socially isolated tend to use social media more but the connection between social media, social isolation, and mental health remains unexplored. To investigate this link, this review examined studies that focused on these three subjects in young adults. One reviewer searched PubMed and PsychInfo databases on March 8, 2021 for relevant peer-reviewed studies that were performed in the United States, focused on adults aged 19-32, and were published between 2013 to March 2021. Ultimately, 5 out of 192 initial articles were included in the final review. Results from the studies showed that those who reported strong feelings of social isolation spent more time on social media. Some personality types such as neuroticism were strongly linked to social media use. More data is needed to conclude that high social media use leads to social isolation or those with mental health disorders are more prone to social isolation and social media use.
Recommended CitationMulroy, Jake, "Social Isolation in Young Adults Who Use Social Media: A Rapid Review of the Literature" (2021). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 394.