Limiting social media use may lower depression and loneliness
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.