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The use of social media is rapidly increasing, and one of the major discussions of the 21st century revolvesaround how the use of these applications will impact on the social relationships of users. To contribute tothis discussion, we present a brief narrative review highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of socialmedia use on three key aspects of social connectedness: social capital, sense of community, and loneliness.The results indicate that using social media can increase social capital, lead to the formation of friendshipsand communities, and reduce loneliness. However, some social media site users may experience weakeningfriendships, online ostracism, and heightened loneliness. Therefore, we argue that the use of social mediahas contradictory effects on social connectedness. Moreover, the direction of these outcomes is contingentupon who is using the site and how they are using it. Based on these arguments, possible directions for futureresearch are discussed. It is recommended that discourse be continued relating to the association betweenonline social behaviour and connectedness, as this will enable researchers to establish whether the positiveoutcomes of social media use outweigh the negative.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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