An recent study was published regarding Facebook and individuals respective dependency on the social media platform. With a fairly small sample size and a wide age range, the study may not be conclusive, but it does give some insights into how social media can depended upon.
Yes, the study did conclude that the people who signed in more frequently were more dependent -- which makes sense. However, the study makes a point in that dependency is different than addiction. Social media platforms are in a large part a way to get things done; setting up (in real life) social events, make new connections, teach, learn, share, resource, help and many more things.
All too often social media gets a bad wrap for the vile aspects of humanity. But what is overlooked is the amount of good social media brings to the world. As with any technology, social media can be used to create good just as easily as bad.
Think of all the running, crossfit, cycling, etc groups that have created a community around being active and promoting good health. The nonprofit organizations have been able to keep their members and donors closer and more up to date with their progress. Small businesses are able to market directly to their customers in a way that wasn't possible before. Moreover, these types of interactions are quantifiable in a way that has never been seen by other media sources.
Humans need to communicate. Isolation can quickly cause long term or even permanent damage. Social media just happens to be the newest way interaction takes place and it happens on a very large scale. The outcome of the study about dependence shouldn't be taken as a negative. If anything, the study proves what has long been understood in the communications world; people need people.
Now, go on, get out there! Do a social bike ride and dinner -- maybe at the same time.