A study carried out by the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that limiting the use of social networks to 30 minutes a day would reduce any risks of depression and loneliness, commonly associated with virtual life. This study is one of the first to show a causal relationship between the use of social networks and mental health problems.
It has already been established in previous studies that using social networks for a longer time than usual increase the likelihood of anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Apparently, limiting social network use to 30 minutes lowers the risks, a new study reveals.
A Drop In The Level of Anxiety Observed During The Study
The study was conducted on 143 undergraduate students, split into two groups, as follows:
- A group with limited use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to 30 minutes per day (10 minutes per platform);
- Another “control” group in which they were allowed to maintain their habits;
After three weeks of testing, the participants were asked questions about their mental health, covering seven different areas, namely, social support, fear of missing something, loneliness, independence and self-acceptance, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem.
Limiting Social Network Use to 30 Minutes A Day Might Reduce the Risk of Depression
Melissa Hunt, the study’s lead researcher, told for the Science Daily journal that “using less social networks than usual would significantly reduce the risk of depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for people who were more depressed during their participation in the study. Neither of the two research groups had any improvement in self-esteem, autonomy, and self-acceptance. However, the students found that their anxiety level and the feeling of missing something was decreasing.”
The study, which was published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, is one of the first to show a causal relationship between the use of social networks and mental health problems. Most previous studies had so far shown only a correlation between the two.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.