Social media usage may boost loneliness, not banish It

Depression? Loneliness? Limit your social media use, study says

The students were divided into two groups - one which accessed Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat in a limited manner and the other which used the social media as usual - for three weeks.

Hunt and Young emphasized that the study did not intend to eliminate social media usage entirely among the intervention group. "These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study", said psychologist Melissa Hunt, who led the research.

'The results from our experiment strongly suggest that limiting social media usage does have a direct and positive impact on subjective well-being over time, especially with respect to decreasing loneliness and depression, ' explained the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania.

A new study by US researchers has proven for the first time the causal connection between social media use and decreased mental health. The students were either put into a group that was instructed to limit their social media usage on social media sites including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to 30 minutes per day, with 10 minutes for each platform; or were assigned to a control group where they were allowed to carry on with their routine social media habits. The researchers only identified two other experimental studies, both of which only addressed Facebook use.

It's always been talked about that social media increases depression and anxiety, but the first causal study in an effort to prove this theory was released by the University of Pennsylvania.

The participants completed a survey on their mood and well-being at the start of the study. The volunteers also shared more screenshots of their iPhone battery screens.

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However, those who struggled with FOMO were the exception; they did tend to spend more time using social media.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that limiting time on social media lead to a reduction in feelings of loneliness and depression.

After three weeks, the researchers evaluated the participants across seven measures, among them being loneliness, depression, anxiety, and FOMO.

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

"Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there's an enormous amount of social comparison that happens", Hunt told Penn Today. They also state that it would not make people feel less wanted or less socially accepted.

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