Background: Social isolation in older adults is associated with numerous adverse health outcomes. In today’s digital society, if individuals perceive themselves to be socially isolated, they can take steps to interact with others on social media platforms. Research with younger adults indicates that social media use is positively linked to social isolation. However, less is known about social media use and social isolation in older adults. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the possible association between social isolation and degree of social media use in older adults. Methods: Using Internet sources, we recruited 213 participants (79.8% female; mean age 62.6 years, SD 8.3) who responded to an online survey focusing on living situation, depression, social isolation, and 2 measures of social media use: estimated daily time on social media and problematic social media use. Next, using binary logistic regression, we assessed associations between social isolation and social media use. Results: Our analyses failed to identify a relationship between perceived social isolation and estimated daily time on social media; however, higher problematic social media use was associated with higher perceived social isolation (OR 1.17). Discussion and Conclusion: Although no causal attribution can be made, our findings demonstrate an association between problematic social media use and perceived social isolation in older adults. Researchers conducting social media interventions in older adults should note this potential and monitor maladaptive use of these platforms. Overall, our results provide an important starting point for future studies on social media use and social isolation in older adults.

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