Britons turn away from social media and embrace more traditional forms of communication during the coronavirus lockon, a new survey suggests.
Compared to the frightening experience of posting updates on Facebook and Instagram, two-thirds of adults still think that sending a handwritten message is the best way to keep in touch.
In a poll with more than 2,000 UK adults, 66 per cent said a personalized card is the most meaningful and thoughtful way to communicate feelings to a loved one.
Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said the thought of writing a heartfelt letter as a card made them feel happy, while 50 percent said social media had no positive effects on their close relationships.
The study was overseen by the evolutionary anthropologist of & # 39; the University of Oxford, Dr Anna Machin, who & # 39; t said that younger people exist in an unusual social media & # 39; micro-world & # 39 ;.
Research suggests a return to more traditional forms of communication to combat the threat to mental health during social distance, including cards and letters
Dr Machin explained that personalized and private forms of communication help improve our health by releasing neurochemicals in the brain.
But social media does not have the same beneficial neurological influence because of its 'performative' nature.
& # 39; By using too much social media, we deny the brain the positive neurochemicals that have been released through meaningful communication and that is why we are beginning to suffer, & # 39; said Dr Machin.
& # 39; Sending a card allows us to remember things we & # 39; ve done with that person, share fond memories, and therefore likely get a great release of cool neurochemicals. & # 39;
More people reported that social media had made no difference to their level of connection with family and friends
In particular of & # 39; A coronavirus lockon craves the human for forms of interaction that can best imagine face and face.
& # 39; What we all want is a hug with the people we love and that is because we have evolved to absolutely need it – that's what our brain chemistry is set to need, & # 39; said Dr Machin.
& # 39; Making an effort in our closest relationships, something that social media suggests we can avoid by communicating with people a lot, is actually something that brings pleasure and benefit.
& # 39; We also moved away from & # 39; e publicly display social media and people cut out their connections and make their pages private so they can have a more intimate and special experience. & # 39;
When we receive a letter like a card, brain activity is closer to what happens when we interact face-to-face with someone.
There is a rise of chemicals such as dopamine, which is linked to emotional responses, and oxytocin, a chemical messenger associated with social bonding.
When asked if they had sent a letter or card to an older member of & # 39; e family, 25 percent responded that they did so in the last 12 months. However, other participants had done it even more recently – whether in the last seven days, fourteen or month
In contrast, posting updates on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can cause feelings of anxiety about how & # 39; they will be received or whether & # 39; likes & # 39; will get, she said.
And the more followers you have, the less personal your posts will be on social media.
& # 39; If you write a card or a letter to someone that's all gone – don't pretend or try to look perfect, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; It's a private moment and that's what people are now craving. & # 39;
Dr Anna Machin, who oversees the research, is an evolutionary anthropologist and author at Oxford University. Interpersonal relationships benefit from & # 39; meaningful & # 39; and traditional forms of communication for the positive neurochemicals that release them into the brain, she said
The survey of 2,000 UK adults was commissioned by TouchNote, an Android and iOS app that allows users to send physical postcards with photos taken on their phone.
Respondents were asked a set of 15 questions about their attitude toward social media, including whether it made them feel more connected to their family, or changed how they expressed themselves in writing, and the type of feelings they did. they then had them posted on social media platforms.
Overall, 86 percent said social media and phone use interfered with people's daily interactions – compared to only 4 per cent who didn't.
59 percent of 10 adults between the ages of 18 and 24 felt that their social media accounts felt more connected to their friends and family, while 39 per cent felt that they made no difference to their relationships.
The most frequently cited negative feelings when using social media were & # 39; as if you were missing & # 39 ;, cited by 34 percent of respondents followed by feeling & # 39; under or depressed & # 39; (28 per cent), lonely (26 per cent), rejected as excluded (25 per cent) and anxious (25 per cent).
22 percent agreed that using social media meant they were less in touch with family and friends, while another 28 percent disagreed or disagreed – a surprising finding, given how easy platforms like Facebook and Instagram make it to to connect
Respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to express all these feelings.
& # 39; If we had something in our lives that had an extreme impact on our physical health, then we would certainly have more health warnings – we would be more concerned about how & # 39; we used it, & # 39; said Dr Machin.
& # 39; I am not suggesting that we slit social media – we just need to balance our balance.
& # 39; It's just a tool for social contact – one of many tools and it certainly shouldn't be the one you don't trust most. & # 39;
Asked what they thought was the most meaningful way to communicate feelings to a loved one, if not face-to-face, 66 percent chose a personalized card, 21 per cent a text message, 8 per cent a email and just 5 per cent a message on social media.
Even replacing social media activity with video calls can be a good substitute for the lack of face-to-face interaction during the coronavirus lockon
48 percent said they wrote a personalized letter or card to a grandparent as a parent member of the & # 39; s family.
Overall, 59 percent said social media is changing how they express themselves in writing – largely driven by people between the ages of 18 and 24.
The study also suggests that the grip of social media on our lives is leaving older, less tech-savvy people increasingly isolated and out of touch.
Nearly 60 percent said they thought using social channels would exclude the older generation, while 23 percent admitted they had never written a card after a letter to a grandparent, older family member or friend.
Dr Machin suggested that the other side of & # 39; coronavirus pandemic may be seeing a rise in face-to-face interactions in & # 39; Instead of posting on social media, people & # 39; realize the value of & # 39; the former to their mental health.
A whopping 85 percent agreed that using social media and phone makes daily interactions between people faster – like friends or family are on their phones while trying to talk to them
& # 39; What is happening today with COVID-19 is making us realize what is really important and that is family and friends, & # 39; she said.
'It also changes our attitude towards the elderly, which is a good thing.
'We are all more aware of the older generation and those who live with us who need help.
'Hopefully, this new era of care will continue and will help older people to feel more absorbed.
& # 39; Letters and cards play an important part in & # 39; the new world in which we live – and that's not a bad thing. & # 39;
She added that some forms of digital communication – such as video chats via FaceTime or Zoom meetings during work hours – can help maintain our mental health, providing them with more permissible human connections.
The study also found that Britons also want a physical estate – in the form of maps and printed photos – rather than a digital one.
& # 39; People will appreciate the personal things they've done as real and tangible things – that's an incredibly deep finding in this research, & # 39; said Dr Machin.
& # 39; Share personal memories & photos, and these are displayed in our homes, help strengthen relationships and improve our mental health. & # 39;
BRITS WANT TO KEEP A PHYSICAL OF A & # 39; DIGITAL & # 39; LEGACY
The survey also asked participants with a social media account what they would most like to leave behind as a fallacy when they died.
They were asked to choose from a list of four options:
– Printed photos & # 39;
– An album or box of personalized cards
– Digital photos & # 39; s
– page on social media
Participants were asked to rank all four options in their order of preference and the results were as follows:
Most glad to leave
– Printed photos (49 percent)
– An album or box of personal cards (18 percent)
– Digital photos (15 percent)
– social media page (7 percent)
At least like to be left behind
– social media page (67 percent)
– An album or box of personal cards (12 percent)
– Digital photos (6 percent)
– Printed photos (5 percent)
Female respondents most preferred to leave printed photos as a visual inheritance of their lives than men (53 per cent vs 46 per cent).
Those between the ages of 18 and 24 wanted to print the most as their legacy (39 percent), followed by an album or box of personalized cards (25 percent).
The study suggests that Britons see physical paraphernalia as a true reflection of themselves to be passed on to lovers, compared to social media accounts that may or may not be associated with insecure or blurry photos.
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