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Social media has always created a buzz in the media and often for negative reasons. In recent weeks social media has gained significant negative press concerning the effect that social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, are having on an individual’s mental health.
Researchers across many disciplines have concluded that social media usage is increasing loneliness in people, which can have a severe impact on an individual’s wellbeing. Health officials are warning of a loneliness epidemic effecting both the young and elderly.
Dr Sarah Quinton, Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes Business School, is undertaking a research project to understand the positive impact social media is having on the elderly. Over 60s appear to be combatting loneliness by sharing images online. Oxford Brookes Business School and The Open University are running discussion groups with individuals and a nationwide survey to try to understand why people share photographs, and whether this helps them to feel more connected to each other and society? The research, also hopes to understand the barriers over 60s perceive when it comes to social media.