Quantcast
Connect with us

3 ways to be smart on social media

Published

on

This past year, many people deleted their social media accounts following revelations about privacy violations on social media platforms and other concerns related to hate speech.

As people adopt their resolutions for the year, it is likely that many more will reconsider their social media use.

However, as a scholar of social media and religion, I’d argue that rather than just stop using social media, people could use it to improve their overall well-being. Here are three ways to do so.

ADVERTISEMENT

1. Be active

Studies have shown that there is a big difference between passive social media use and active use. Scrolling through a newsfeed and merely looking at what others have posted is considered passive social media use.

Conversely, commenting on posts, sharing articles and creating posts constitute active social media use. Research has found that actively using social networking sites can contribute to feelings of social connectedness. This can contribute to a sense of overall well-being.

On the other hand, a study found that passive Facebook use increases feelings of envy. Researchers asked participants to sit in a laboratory and passively use Facebook by only browsing and not commenting, sharing or liking content. Participants passively using Facebook were found to have an increase in their feelings of envy.

2. Focus on meaningful engagement

Social media sites allow users to engage in various types of communication. There are impersonal forms of communication such as the single click “Like” button and more personal forms of communication such as direct messaging and comments.

Direct messaging and comments can help with a deeper level of engagement.
Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock.com

Research has found that direct communication on Facebook can have a positive psychological impact on individuals. A direct message can often lead to feelings of social support and encouragement. It has been found to be particularly helpful when people already share a connection. Direct messaging and personalized comments can provide a deeper level of engagement.

ADVERTISEMENT

One of these studies showed that commenting on a post, instead of pressing the like button, could improve the mood of the person who made the original post. In one such example, a respondent in the study described how personalized comments, even trivial ones about funny cat videos, can result in feelings of support.

Similarly, research has shown that social networking sites can provide social support to those who have recently lost a job.

3. Use social media for professional purposes

According to researchers in Germany, Sonja Utz and Johannes Breuer, using social networking sites for professional purposes can result in “informational benefits” such as knowing what is happening in one’s field and developing professional connections.

ADVERTISEMENT

For example, these scholars found that people who use social networking sites for professional purposes report having greater access to information about timely innovations in their field than nonusers. A similar study of academics in the United Kingdom found that 70 percent of participants had gained valuable professional information through Twitter.

Researchers, however, have found that these professional benefits require active use of social networking sites. “Frequent skimming of posts,” as Utz and Breuer explain, can lead to “short time benefits.” What is more important, however, are “active contributions to work-related discussions.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Indeed, there are those who recommend curtailing use of social media and focusing instead on real-world relationships. But, as with everything else, moderation is vital.The Conversation

A. Trevor Sutton, Ph.D. Student in Doctrinal Theology, Concordia Seminary

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

Published

on

On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

Published

on

The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

Published

on

In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image