Most of us can’t think of going a day without social media. 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. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that some of us are even addicted to it.
And, according to a new study that has been conducted by the Psychology Department at Penn State University has shown an interesting revelation about social media and our mental and emotional well-being.
The study says that there is a direct link between an increase in social media use and the user’s emotional state. The study was conducted on 143 students and it went on for a period of three weeks. During this time, these students were assigned how much time they could spend on social media apps including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
To be precise, each student was asked to limit his social media usage to 10 minutes per app every day. So in total, they were allowed 30 minutes of social media use per day.
But, they had a choice of limiting their usage or to continue using the apps as they generally did.
In order to document the change, all the participants were asked to take a baseline test before the experiment began and this was followed by a weekly assessment on standard tests for social support, depression and more.
The report goes on to say that the test group “showed significant reductions” in the feeling of depression and loneliness compared to the group that used social media like they did regularly. Furthermore, there was also a reduction in ‘fear of missing out’ and anxiety in the groups that limited their usage as compare to others. For those unaware, fear of missing out or FOMO, as its popularly called is a prevalent feeling of apprehension that other people maybe having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.
However, according to researchers behind the study, this cannot be considered as complete and other researchers can take the study forward to get results that are more comprehensive.
According to an initial report by TechCrunch, the study has been published in the latest Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.