Study Finds: You May Be Genetically Predisposed To Social Media
Written by: Kat Gal
How much time do you spend on social media a day on average? Why do you think you are spending so much (or so little) time online?
You probably know that genetics can influence a lot in terms of your behavior and personality. Your creativity, analytical skills and temper can be partly passed down to you through genetics.
But do you think that genetics can determine how frequently you use social media?
You may be shaking your head, but researchers at Kent State University say it’s possible.
In a recent twin study survey, they have found that genetics actually outweighed environment in social media use. The team of scientists will be sharing their findings at the 67th Annual Conference of International Communication Association.
They have examined social media use in terms of genetic and environmental factors using the Defries-Fulker Regression analytical model. According to their research, one – to two-thirds of variance in social media use is related to genetic traits. For the remainder, environmental factors are responsible. Some of these environmental factors are shared, while others are unique to each participant.
Though this is not the first study suggesting that genetic traits can affect communication behaviors, this is the first one showing that they may influence social media use as well. These findings call for further research investigating genetics influencing communication behaviors, including social media and online communications.
It is important to note that this doesn’t mean that you have a ‘social media gene.’ It simply suggests that genetically inherited traits impact your personality, cognitive processing and behavior that can influence your communication and social media use.
Nonetheless, if you are spending too much time on social media and it is negatively affecting your non-online life, you should not blame your genes. You can actively reduce your time online. Set up an app that blocks you from using certain social media after a certain amount of time. Set a timer and stop when your time’s up. Go for a walk. Connect with nature. Connect with people in person by signing up for a class or joining a meetup group. Call a friend or meet for a green juice instead of posting on their wall.
Social media makes the world smaller and connects us all. It helps you find friends outside of your area, get inspired and be more informed. But don’t forget to live life outside of your online persona. You won’t regret it – life is waiting.
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Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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