The double-sided coin of loneliness and social media – young adults’ experiences and perceptions

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Introduction: Youth is associated with various emotions and experiences that can negatively affect young adults’ health and well-being, loneliness being one of them. Experiences of loneliness can have a negative impact on young adults’ psychological well-being and quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate young adults’ experiences and perceptions of loneliness and its association with social media. Methods: Guided by a semi-structured interview guide, data material was collected in the form of essays with nine young adults aged 19-27. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Three main categories and eight subthemes emerged. The main categories were: Negative experiences of involuntary loneliness, Positive experiences of voluntary loneliness, and Social media is a double-sided coin vis-à-vis loneliness. Discussion: Impacted by various complex individual aspects, loneliness for young adults can be both positive and negative, and social media’s association with loneliness can be considered double-sided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2306889
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescence and Youth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • loneliness
  • social media
  • young adults
  • young people


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