In the new study, collected experimental data connected Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram use to decreased well-being. They were divided into two groups, one of which is within three weeks it was necessary to limit the time of use of each social media to ten minutes a day (half an hour in total), and the other was allowed to use the application without restrictions.
The results suggested that restricting social media use had a "significant" and beneficial impact by reducing depressive symptoms, especially among those who had been moderately or highly depressed.
It's always been talked about that social media increases depression and anxiety, but the first causal study in an effort to prove this theory was released by the University of Pennsylvania.
In a study titled "No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression", researchers monitored the social media usage of 143 undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania. 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.
"Facebook did not participate in this study, but our teams are working to better understand the research about technology and well-being".
"We set out to do a much more comprehensive, rigorous study that was also more ecologically valid", said Melissa Hunt, lead author of the study and associate director of clinical training in the Psychology Department of the University of Pennsylvania.
For the next three weeks, participants shared iPhone battery screenshots to give the researchers weekly tallies for each individual. Then, the researchers analyzed a number of factors in the participants including depression, loneliness, anxiety as well as fear of missing out.
It seems that even Facebook itself is aware that continuously using social media might not be a good thing. "These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study". In January, nonprofit advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to discontinue the Messenger Kids app, saying, "Younger children are simply not ready to have social media accounts".
To be clear on the terminology here, a simple survey might ask people to self-report that using Instagram makes them feel bad.
For one, reduce opportunities for social comparison, she says.