Facebook and other social media sites that are designed to help people connect with friends and communicate with others are actually causing people to feel lonely.
A new study claims, the more time people spend on Facebook and other social media sites, the more likely they are to feel cut off from the rest of the world.
According to psychologists, people who spend more than two hours per day online double their chances of feeling lonely.
The study, which was carried out by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, questioned 1,787 adults aged between 19 and 32 about their use of some of the most popular social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
Those who visited the site more than 58 times per week were found to be three times more likely to experience feelings of loneliness than those who went online less than ten times per week.
Lead scientist Professor Brian Primack said that social isolation and mental health problems among young people are at epidemic levels.
“We are inherently social creatures, but modern life tends to compartmentalise us instead of bringing us together,” he said.
“While it may seem that social media presents opportunities to fill that social void, I think this study suggests that it may not be the solution people were hoping for.”