Study claims social media 'increases depression and loneliness'


The new way of keeping in touch with friends is by sharing updates on Facebook, posting Stories on Snapchat and Instagram and speaking about your views on Twitter.

Cutting your social media time to around 30 minutes a day could reduce loneliness and depression, according to a study published last week in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

The link between the two has been talked about for years, but a causal connection had never been proven.

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. One who would use the three social media apps for a period of 10 minutes each and the others would have no restrictions on app usage. Earlier investigations either put participants in unrealistic situations or were limited in scope.

This study, led by Melissa Hunt at Penn State's psychology department, is the latter - which despite intense interest in this field and phenomenon is quite rare.

"Here's the bottom line", she said.

As a result, researchers found that the group of limited social media use showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression over three weeks compared to the control group. These effects were more prominently observed among the students who came into the study already having depression. Now a recent study adds more results to the fire.

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Hunt's team recruited 143 undergraduates and divided them into two groups.

Cutting back on Facebook or Snapchat could have a positive impact on your mood, according to a new study. The volunteers also shared more screenshots of their iPhone battery screens.

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.

It seems that even Facebook itself is aware that continuously using social media might not be a good thing.

It is ironic, but perhaps not surprising, that reducing social media, which promised to help us connect with others, actually helps people feel less lonely and depressed'. But when she digs a little deeper, the findings make sense.

"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", she explained. In January, nonprofit advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to discontinue the Messenger Kids app, saying, "Younger children are simply not ready to have social media accounts".