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Loneliness and social media: A qualitative investigation of young people's motivations for use and perceptions of social networking sitesThe democratisation of Internet access has incrementally changed every domain of activity and has created new business and economic models. From answering work emails to learning a new language, shopping, booking medical appointments or managing one’s finances, almost everything is attainable at the click of a button. The added implications of the rapid rise of social networking websites (SNSs), such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, have further contributed to changing the way we communicate and build new friendships. Indeed most of our social relationships are now being ‘increasingly developed and maintained online’ (Nowland, Necka & Cacioppo, 2017: 1). Ostensibly, despite improved Internet access and enhanced social connectedness, modern societies are struggling to combat loneliness. It is reported to affect people of all ages, especially young adults (16-24 and 25-34 years old) who are avid Internet and social media users (see Office for National Statistics, 2018).