Why spending too long on Facebook increases rates of depression?

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook use increases depression and loneliness in your life. That’s the finding of a new study that looked into the link between time spent online and the poor mental health of a person. U.S. Experts have long theorized that a causal connection exists between the two but this has never been proven conclusively, claim researchers. She said that she has now found a connection between high levels of Facebook and Instagram use and decreased well-being. As a result, they advise that people should lemmatize the time they spend on these kinds of sites to a maximum of 30 minutes. Avoiding comparing your life to the way other people portray their own online may also help to break this link, they reported.

Melissa Hunt researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, who led the research said- Few previous studies have attempted to show that social-media use harms users’ well-being. She also claims- Those that have either put participants in unrealistic situations or were limited in scope. This includes asking them to completely forego Social Media and relying on self-report data, for example, or conducting the work in a lab in as little time as an hour. ‘We set out to do a much more comprehensive and rigorous study that was also more ecologically valid, Dr. Hunt added.
She further said: ‘When you are not busy into clickbait in social media, you are actually spending more time on those things that are more likely to feel better about your life.’ ‘Normally, I would say, keep your phone down and stay with the people in your life.’

Dr. Hunt claims that the findings offer two related conclusions; it can not hurt any social media user to follow. Since these devices are here to stay, therefore, to find out how to use them in a way that limits the damaging effects. Reducing the chance of social comparison can also be a problem, Dr, Hunt said.

What was the Research? 

The University’s research team designed their experiment by including the three platforms most popular with a cohort of undergraduates. The survey team collected objective usage data automatically tracked by iPhones for recent active apps, not those running the background. Each of the 143 participants completed a survey to determine mood and welfare at the beginning of the study, and shared shots of their iPhone battery screens to offer up to a week’s basic social-media data. Participants were randomly assigned to a control group, in which the users maintained their specific social-media behavior, or an experimental group, which had limited time per minute on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. For the next three weeks, participants shared iPhone Battery Screenshots for each person to give researchers a weekly length. With those figures in hand, Dr. Hunt again saw seven result measures, including the fear of missing out, anxiety, depress, on and loneliness.

She found that the time spent on social media platforms was linked to poor results in all categories. Writing in the study, its authors said: ‘Our conclusions strongly suggest that by limiting the use of social media for approximately 30 minutes per day may lead to a significant improvement in well being.’

Since this particular work only saw at Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, it is not clear whether it is widely applied on other social media platforms like Tinder, Twitter and others. Dr. Hunt also hesitates to say that these findings will be repeated for other age groups or in different settings. The students of the college, including the study of the use of dating applications, are the ones they still hope to answer.

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