Health Care

How Does Social Media Decrease Well-Being?

How Does Social Media Decrease Well-Being?”

This study, led by Melissa Hunt at Penn State's psychology department, is the latter - which despite intense interest in this field and phenomenon is quite rare.

Out of these categories, the study's results showed both a clinically and statistically significant decrease in loneliness and depression for the group that limited their social media time to ten minutes per app daily.

'In sum, our research and other academic literature suggests that it's about how you use social media that matters when it comes to your well-being, ' wrote David Ginsberg and Moira Burke, Facebook's director of research and research scientist respectively, last year.

The study involved 143 undergraduate students who were tested over the course of two semesters.

The results were crystal clear: People showed a substantial decline in depression and loneliness after they'd cut back on their social media use. These effects were more prominently observed among the students who came into the study already having depression. Overall, these studies were not designed well as they would ask a participant to completely forego Facebook, rely on self-report data, or conduct the activities in a lab in as little time as an hour.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that limiting social media usage can significantly reduce the feeling of loneliness and depression.

For the next three weeks, participants shared iPhone battery screenshots to give the researchers weekly tallies for each individual.

Three weeks later the students were questioned for assessing their mental health across seven areas, including fear of missing out (FOMO), social support, autonomy and self-acceptance, loneliness, anxiety, self-esteem, and depression.

It seems that even Facebook itself is aware that continuously using social media might not be a good thing.

"When you look at other people's lives, particularly on Instagram, it's easy to conclude that everyone else's life is cooler or better than yours", she explained.

Despite those caveats, and although the study didn't determine the optimal time users should spend on these platforms or the best way to use them, Hunt says the findings do offer two related conclusions it couldn't hurt any social-media user to follow.

The 30-minute limit was chosen as a conveniently measurable one, but the team does not intend to say that it is by any means the "correct" amount.



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