Psychologists acknowledge the significant impact of social media usage on psychological well-being, but accurately measuring online behavior remains a challenge.

Over 4 billion people use social media globally, with 6 billion expected by 2027. Research suggests engagement is more important than usage, but effects on mental health remain unclear due to differing perceptions of behavior.

Introducing a new tool

The Social Networking Site Behavior Task (SNSBT) was developed to measure actual social media behavior. A study of 526 adults involved viewing images, responding to them, and completing questionnaires about feelings of loneliness, connectedness, and emotional support from their online networks.

Where do we get from here?

The study reveals that our relationship with social media is complex and not solely influenced by our usage styles. Factors like larger online networks and gender differences in the groups may also play a role.