Social media, self-esteem and suicide: Nations with more corruption demonstrate more social media, less suicide
In nations where corruption is rife it seems that citizens these days find an escape from the everyday problems that trickle down to their lives by using online social media more than those elsewhere. Research to be published in the International Journal of Web-based Communities also suggests that these two factors — more corruption, more social networking — also correlate with lower suicide rates.
Adam Acar, an Associate Professor at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies in Japan, reports that more than half the population of developed countries is now active on social networking sites, such as Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter. The vast majority of users are English speakers, but research suggests that the adoption of so-called Web 2.0 of which these sites are part is widespread across the globe. Indeed, it has been suggested that the use of social networking is almost culture-independent, partly because the interfaces to the online systems does not, on the whole, reflect cultural boundaries.
"Culture is directly related to country-level social media use which may also be related with country-level self-esteem, pace-of-life, happiness, suicide rates, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, median age and corruption," Acar explains. "In countries where people use social media heavily there is low suicide, high corruption, low GDP, high self-esteem and high respect for traditions. At the same time societies with low social media use rates tend to be older, less emotionally expressive, less happy, score low on openness and conscientiousness, have higher GDP and higher social capital."