The debate between the psychological advantages and disadvantages of using social media has been raging on for years.
While many claimed that the increased use of social media leads to a decrease in social well-being, the lack of conclusive studies made the issue highly controversial.
A recently published study argued that there is an actual connection between them. The study focused on the use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
According to one of the researchers, previous studies were hindered by unclear targets and faulty research procedures, which lead to a clash of results. In this case the team of researchers working for the University of Pennsylvania decided to create a more elaborate study that had clear criteria and testing guidelines.
143 participants were first tasked with completing a survey that gauged their habits and emotional states at the start of the study. For the next stage, data was gathered from their phones in order to observe their social media activities over a period of seven day. The participants were then split into two distinctive groups. One was allowed to use social media for as long as they wanted while the other was limited to a maximum of ten minutes per day for each of the three platforms.
In the next three weeks the participants were monitored daily as data was collected from their phones. They also had to complete surveys that focused on their mental heart and surveyed a large variety of factors, including their levels of depression, anxiety and fear.
After all the information was centralized and analyzed the results were ready. The study notes that the persons in the group where social media was restricted were described their feelings of depression and loneliness were significantly reduced in comparison to members of the other group.
While this doesn’t mean that you should stop using social media forever, spending less time on it and more on practical activities may boost your psychological well-being. After all, even good things should be used with moderation.
Katie Tachuck is a reporter for News Lair. After graduating from UCLA, Katie got an internship at a local radio station and worked as a investigative journalist and producer. Katie has also worked as a columnist for the The Santa Fe New Mexican. Katie covers economy and community events for News Lair.