A team of experts from Iowa State University has found that reduced usage of social media can help ease depression, loneliness, and anxiety issues. They conducted a two-week experiment enrolling 230 college students. Half of them were asked to restrict their social media usage to 30 minutes per day. These people have been able to score pointedly lower for depression, anxiety, loneliness, and fear of missing out as compared to the control group.
The findings show that these individuals notched higher on experiencing positive emotions described with terms like excited or proud. They have been found to have a brighter viewpoint on life. Experts have said that young people who use social media extensively are at a higher risk of suffering from such mental health issues.
The lead author of the study, Ella Faulhaber has said that the wellbeing of participants has improved in all dimensions. She has said that a simple intervention of reducing social media usage and sending a daily reminder has been able to encourage people to modify their conduct and mend their social media habits. Participants who surpassed the 30-minute time limit for reducing social media usage received more psychological advantages.
The findings of the study support other studies originating from the kinesiology and health fields. Faulhaber has said that it is vital to keep track of the time we spend on social media each day and being accountable for it. It helps people change their virtual behaviours.
Use in-built wellness app to track time spent on social media
The authors of the study have said that limiting or refraining from social media requires heavy control and deleting apps or using a distinctive application that stops or limits social media usage. However, it involves a greater risk of rebounding.
Faulhaber says there are some practical approaches for people to restrain their social media usage. People can use an in-built wellness app to track their time spent on social media. They can set a timer for social media usage. They should accept that it is not easy to follow the time limit. They should continue limiting their usage of social media usage that can bring real advantages later in life. It is also essential to recognize when and how they use social media and set quantifiable goals.