Research suggests platform designs make us lose track of time spent on them and can heighten conflicts, and then we feel upset with ourselves
By Daisy Yuhas, June 20, 2022
Disrupted sleep, lower life satisfaction and poor self-esteem are just a few of the negative mental health consequences that research has linked to social media.
Somehow the same platforms that can help people feel more connected and knowledgeable also contribute to loneliness and disinformation.
What succeeds and fails, computer scientists argue, is a function of how these platforms are designed.
Amanda Baughan, a graduate student specializing in human-computer interaction, a subfield of computer science, at the University of Washington, believes that interdisciplinary research could inform better social platforms and apps. At the 2022 Association for Computing Machinery Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in May, she presented findings from a recent project that explored how social media triggers what psychologists call “dissociation,” or a state of reduced self-reflection and narrowed attention.
Baughan spoke with Mind Matters editor Daisy Yuhas to explain how and why apps need to change to give the people who use them greater power.