New Study Shows Using Social Media Makes You Lonely and Depressed
We've all suspected that social media wasn't good for us for a while now. I know on the surface, being connected to hundreds (if not thousands) of other people around the globe seems like a great way to strengthen our connections with fellow humans - but I think we all know that's not how it works in the real world. That suspicion has been confirmed by science in the latest research from the University of Pennsylvania.
According to the study published in Science Daily, a casual connection has been confirmed between social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram and a "decreased: sense of well being." The difference in the study that revealed the link and other studies looking for the emotional and mental toll that social media takes from users is the environment. Other studies have been focused on specific situations and circumstances, U of P's approach was to widen the scope to see how these platforms affect our life as a whole - and it isn't good.
For 3 weeks, 143 participants were split into 3 groups. One had unfettered access to their social media accounts, another got 10 minutes a day on them, and the last got no access at all. 7 benchmarks were used to grade the individuals in categories like fear of missing out, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Psychologist and associate director of clinical training at the university, Melissa G. Hunt, says that the results are very straightforward;
Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study."