Social Media Use Increases Depression And Loneliness, According To Study
Around a month back, the World Mental Health Day was celebrated. It laid emphasis on the importance of mental health, especially in today’s world. The emphasis in today’s world is due to the fact that increasing exposure to certain technology has in fact resulted in people becoming more distant from each other. While these were just speculations until now, a study now backs up this claim. The study proves that a relation exists between social media use and increased depression and loneliness.
The study was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and for the first time, did not place the users in unrealistic situations. Earlier studies were done in laboratory conditions, were data was collected during short spans of time. Which were sometimes even within a duration of one hour. During these studies, users were sometimes not even using social media platforms like Facebook and mostly relied on self-reported data.
The study conducted now, aimed at a more comprehensive and rigorous approach towards the issue. The study included three of the most used social media platforms, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. The participants of the survey, which were around 140, recorded their mood. This was done both before and after using these social media platforms. They also share screenshots of their iPhone battery information to see how many hours a day they used the social media apps. They were then split into two groups. One group was allowed to consume the same amount of social media every day, while the other group had their share reduced to 10 minutes, per platform, per day.
Based on the data received from the above, they identified seven major problems among the participants. These include the fear of missing out, anxiety, depression and loneliness, among others. The result of the survey was as stated, the fact that more social media exposure led to more mental health issues. The researchers even went further to say that they believe anyone between the age of 18-22 should stop using social media altogether.
The researches suggest that one stays away from social media as much as possible. And should spend more time with people in their lives. The awareness about the same is on the rise. Google has introduced its Digital Wellness program which ensures that you spend more quality time with those around you. This program is big in all google devices and some features are present in almost all Android smartphones. Apple also introduced certain parameters to limit the time you use a certain app in a day, with its latest updates.