A new study has proven that using social media is not good for a person’s mental health.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that using social media actually harms users’ well-being.
Psychologist Melissa G Hunt published her findings in the December issue of Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
Hunt, associate director of clinical training in Penn's Psychology Department said:
We set out to do a much more comprehensive, rigorous study that was also more ecologically valid.
A research team gathered 143 participants and asked them to complete a survey to determine mood and well-being at the beginning of the study and at the end.
Participants were randomly selected for either a control group, which had participants maintain their typical social media usage, or an experimental group, which had limited time on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram of 10 minutes per platform per day.
For three weeks, participants shared pictures o their iPhone battery. From their social media usage, Hunt looked at seven outcomes, including anxiety, fear of missing out depression and loneliness.
“Here's the bottom line,” Hunt confirmed.
Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study.
It is a little ironic that reducing your use of social media actually makes you feel less lonely. Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there's an enormous amount of social comparison that happens. 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.
When you're not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you're actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life.
In general, I would say, put your phone down and be with the people in your life.