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UNLV social media expert Natalie Pennington shares the top 10 takeaways of research on the impact of video chats,online gaming, and other communication tech on stress, loneliness, and relationships. At least not in the order we imagined. Just barely a month into the pandemic, cell phone companies, internet providers, and video chat and social media platforms all reported huge spikes in traffic, according to data cited within the study. She will present her findings later this month at the Central States Communication Association conference.
Here, Pennington shares her top 10 most interesting findings from her research on social media and communication technology use during the pandemic. Share your thoughts about this story. To comment, you'll need to into your Facebook. Your comment will post immediately. Comments that are not in keeping with our comment policies may be removed by editors.
Campus Maps. News Center. Social Media. UNLV Mail. Call Me, Maybe? Natalie Pennington, a UNLV communication studies professor and social media expert, has conducted several studies on the connections between technology and our psychosocial needs during the pandemic. Top 10 Takeaways The most used and most important types of communication were phone calls and texting.
This is consistent with what we know about phone calls during the early days of the pandemic: In Aprilthe of daily voice calls was twice that of the peak traffic day in Minium, Phone calls were associated with decreases in stress, loneliness, and relationship maintenance difficulties. Social media posting, commenting, and sharing was the modality most strongly associated with stress. Social media can also serve as a reminder of the things you are no longer able to do as you shelter in place, which can make you feel worse.
However, people in romantic relationships were also more likely to experience stress related to social media posting.
And the no-relationship, no-social media person is the middle zone. This one tracks when you think about the state of the world. Being told you should limit gatherings and stay home, regardless of your usual habits, can lead to more stress, and cause feelings of loneliness when you think about the people you could have been spending time with.
The increased difficulty managing relationships likely points to potential stress in the home—finding alone time is important to help balance needs and avoid difficulties. Older and middle-aged adults were able to make use of as a way to decrease loneliness, while young adults under 29 experienced increased loneliness alongside the use of .
One reason for this may be familiarity with and preference for letter-writing: Younger generations may perceive as a poor substitute for interaction, while older and middle-aged adults may find comfort in the nostalgic structure that provides to connect with loved ones. As a result, they perhaps felt more challenges in their day-to-day communication with other people. Across the board, her team found that people who engaged in face-to-face interactions were the least stressed and lonely.
March 09 Author: Keyonna Summers. Media Contact: Keyonna Summers keyonna. Topics: tips topics trendscoronaviruscoronavirus expertssocial mediascience and technologypsychologyCivic Engagement. Academic Units:. Related Experts:. Natalie Pennington. Comments Share your thoughts about this story. You Might Also Like.
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A connection for chat and maybe more