Lim­it­ing so­cial me­dia use may lower de­pres­sion and lone­li­ness

Sunday Express - - XPLORE -

NEW YORK: Ex­ces­sive use of so­cial me­dia such as Face­book, Snapchat and In­sta­gram is as­so­ci­ated with poor well-be­ing which could lead to de­pres­sion and lone­li­ness, re­searchers warn on the ba­sis of a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of So­cial and Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­ogy

Find­ings show that lim­it­ing screen time on these apps could boost one’s well­ness.

“When you are not busy get­ting sucked into click­bait so­cial me­dia, you are ac­tu­ally spend­ing more time on things that are more likely to make you feel bet­ter about your life,” said Melissa Hunt from the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in the US.

For the study, re­searchers in­cluded 143 un­der­grad­u­ate par­tic­i­pants. The team de­signed their ex­per­i­ment to in­clude the three plat­forms most pop­u­lar with the par­tic­i­pants. They col­lected ob­jec­tive us­age data au­to­mat­i­cally tracked by iPhones for ac­tive apps, not those run­ning in the back­ground, and asked re­spon­dents to com­plete a sur­vey to de­ter­mine mood and well-be­ing.

Par­tic­i­pants were ran­domly as­signed to a con­trol group, which had users main­tain their typ­i­cal so­cial-me­dia be­hav­iour, or an ex­per­i­men­tal group that lim­ited time on the three sites to 10 min­utes per plat­form per day.

Re­sults showed that us­ing less so­cial me­dia than you nor­mally would lead to de­crease in both de­pres­sion and lone­li­ness.

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