When one sees someone else's life, it is easy to conclude that each person's life is much better or better than himself
New exciting experimental research at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates the reason for social media and the cause-and-effect relationship between depression and loneliness. The study suggests that reducing the use of social media can lead to significant improvement in personal well-being. Scientists have an "optimal level" in using social media and, if so, continue their research on this issue.
The experiment was conducted by 143 participants over four weeks. At the beginning of the study, all volunteers completed the subjective study of wealth, containing seven dimensions to understand and evaluate different parameters of good mood – from fear of depression and loneliness to "the fear of losing something important" to the present day.
During the first week, participants were encouraged to use social media as usual. Over the next three weeks, the themes are divided into two groups: a team of trainees who normally use social media and an experimental group to limit Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to a daily platform of up to 10 minutes.
Each participant will be able to download screenshots every night and control the true use of programs. At the end of each week, the participants tested their sense of well-being.
One of the project researchers, Melissa Hunt, says: "We have tried to study very carefully and thoroughly. "The most important thing is that using less than usual social networks leads to depression and a significant reduction in both sides. When they entered the study, these effects were especially affected by the depression. "
The results show that although there is a general improvement in self-esteem for those who reduce the use of social media, research has several limitations. There are only three social media platforms that people can spend on Twitter, Messenger and other social media for a long time.
Secondly, the study is based on the knowledge of all subjects, since they promise not to use "prohibited" social networks on other devices such as "personal computers".
The most interesting conclusion is that the participants of the experimental group reduce loneliness after limiting the use of social media compared to the control group.
Hunting said: "Reducing the use of social media makes you feel lonely. "Some books in the social media literature say that social media uses a lot of social comparisons. It's easy to conclude that when it comes to other people's lives, especially Instagram, people's lives are better or better than themselves. «
Is there an optimum utilization rate?
The overall outcome of the study suggests that it may be useful to reduce social networks up to 30 minutes per day.
However, the survey did not determine the optimal time for using social media. Researchers believe that there is a need for further research to determine whether such a "good degree of exploitation" exists, and maybe "have no basis for presuming that it can lead to zero", particularly to the welfare of people ".
The study was published in the journals of social and clinical psychology.