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Study finds limiting social media usage to 30 min can reduce depression

17 November 2018
Study finds limiting social media usage to 30 min can reduce depression

According to scientists, the study shows that the reduction in the use of social networking to an hour a day can positively affect health. It is ironic, but perhaps not surprising, that reducing social media, which promised to help us connect with others, actually helps people feel less lonely and depressed'.

For the objective of the study, the research team monitored the daily social media use of 143 participants for a week, as well as their levels of a range of mental health factors like depression and loneliness.

"It was striking", Melissa Hunt, psychology professor at University of Pennsylvania who led the study, told MarketWatch.

Participants were required to have a Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts and own an iPhone.

Researchers with the University of Pennsylvania have found a casual link between social media use, depression, and loneliness.

They were monitored for a baseline before the experimental period and assessed weekly on a variety of standard tests for depression, social support and so on.

But, they had a choice of limiting their usage or to continue using the apps as they generally did.

The results are clear.

Interestingly enough, both groups showed meaningful decreases in fear of missing out and anxiety which suggests there could be a real benefit to the simple act of self-monitoring.

It's not the final word in this, however.

But the restrictions had no impact on feelings of social support, self-esteem or one's overall sense of well-being. And later follow-ups to see if feelings reverted or habit changes were less than temporary were limited because most of the subjects couldn't be compelled to return.

After three weeks of evaluation for the fall and spring semesters, the conclusion said what a lot Americans have already suspected; less social media leads to better mental health.

"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.

According to one of the researchers, previous studies were hindered by unclear targets and faulty research procedures, which lead to a clash of results.

However, Hunt said the findings do not suggest that 18- to 22-year-olds should stop using social media altogether. Longer experimental times and comprehensive follow-ups well after the experiment would help, as well.

For one, reduce opportunities for social comparison, she says. It wouldn't be wrong to say that some of us are even addicted to it. He first wrote for TechCrunch in 2007.