As per a recently conducted study limiting social media use to thirty minutes in a day could assist in overcoming the issues related to mental health. Studies conducted in past indicates a relationship between excessive use of social media and depression and the feeling of loneliness.
A new study done by the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that limiting the time of social media use to 30 minutes per day could lead to a significant improvement in the well being of people.
The study observed that randomly scrolling through the photos of friends and such activities if limited to lesser time could lead to a decrease in depression and loneliness rates.
According to Business Insider, this study is different from the earlier ones, as it has shown a cause-and-effect relationship between social media use and mental health, whereas all the earlier studies done indicated a direct relationship between the two.
The study was conducted on one hundred and forty-three undergraduate students, who were observed for two semesters. The students were put into two groups, where one group was allowed to continue on with their social media habits and the other one was told to limit the social media access to thirty minutes per day while giving ten minutes to each platform—Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
3 weeks later the students were inquired for judging their mental status throughout the seven categories which included—autonomy and self-acceptance, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, social support, fear of missing out (FOMO) and loneliness.
The leading researcher—Melissa Hunt told Science Daily that less use of social media leads to a major reduction in both loneliness and depression. These effects were more prominently observed among the students who came into the study already having depression.
The study further revealed that none of the group showed any improvement in self-esteem, autonomy and self-acceptance and social support. But, in both the groups students found a decline in their levels of anxiety and FOMO.
Melissa Hunt also indicated that limiting the time of social media use was a more practical thing to do than stopping the use completely.
Hunt said that there is room for further investigations as this research was the first of its kind so there are many more chances of doing further researches.