LAKE FOREST, Ill.
– A single tweet that’s shared on social media can change the course of someone’s life, a new study says.
Researchers at the University of Chicago and the University at Buffalo analyzed the lives of more than 4,000 people over the course for five years, interviewing them in person and via online interviews.
The research, which was published in the journal Science, found that being a “sophisticated social media user” was associated with significantly higher happiness and self-esteem.
The study also found that a higher level of self-control and a more stable career can also help people make positive changes in their life.
The research was conducted in partnership with the New York Times, the University Libraries of the University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the research showed.
The authors of the study were Daniel T. Feldman, an assistant professor of psychology and co-director of the Center for Social and Personal Decision Processes at the Chicago-Kent College of Arts and Sciences; and Daniel J. Shatz, professor of management and psychology at the New-York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
The researchers were particularly interested in finding out how the influence of social media on people’s lives impacts their ability to control their own emotions and behaviors.
They said that the study is particularly relevant to people who have anxiety, depression and other anxiety disorders.
“We wanted to see whether social media users who use it to be self-directed and who are self-controlled were also more likely to have positive outcomes,” said Dr. Feldman.
The results showed that “social media users were more likely than nonusers to have better psychological well-being and self control, and were more satisfied with their lives,” Dr. Shitz said.
The study did not find that people who use social media have greater problems than those who do not.
The participants were interviewed in person.
The researchers found that social media use was related to better self-reported health and happiness, better self control and self esteem, higher self-worth and higher self worth in general.
“The ability to be a competent, responsible, happy citizen of society depends on being able to maintain control over your emotions and actions, and maintaining a stable career,” Dr Feldman said.
The findings are part of a larger study about how social media affects people’s moods.
Dr. Shachows said that in order to be socially engaged, people have to be careful about what they say and do.
“When you say something, you can be overheard by someone, and your credibility with people could be threatened,” he said.
“So, when you’re on social networks, you’re basically being an observer.
People are using it to help them be aware of themselves, to be mindful of their behavior, to stay safe.”
Dr. Feldman said that he and Dr. Shernovitz wanted to examine the impact of social networks on a wide variety of people.
“I think it’s really important that people have access to the tools that allow them to be themselves, and to be social,” he explained.
Dr Shatz said he and his colleagues are hoping to expand the study to include more people over time.
“What we’re doing right now is very preliminary, but I would hope that the results are going to inform more research into this area,” he added.
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists.
APA’s membership includes nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.