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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday May 14, @09:18AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the put-down-the-phone-and-back-away dept.

Results of a study that asked participants to take a week-long break from social media find positive effects for wellbeing, depression and anxiety.

Asking people to stop using social media for just one week could lead to significant improvements in their wellbeing, depression and anxiety and could, in the future, be recommended as a way to help people manage their mental health say the authors of a new study.

The study, carried out by a team of researchers at the University of Bath (UK), studied the mental health effects of a week-long social media break. For some participants in the study, this meant freeing-up around nine hours of their week which would otherwise have been spent scrolling Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.

[...] Participants reported spending an average of 8 hours per week on social media at the start of the study. One week later, the participants who were asked to take the one-week break had significant improvements in wellbeing, depression, and anxiety than those who continued to use social media, suggesting a short-term benefit.

[...] "Of course, social media is a part of life and for many people, it's an indispensable part of who they are and how they interact with others. But if you are spending hours each week scrolling and you feel it is negatively impacting you, it could be worth cutting down on your usage to see if it helps."

[...] Over the past 15 years, social media has revolutionised how we communicate, underscored by the huge growth the main platforms have observed. In the UK the number of adults using social media increased from 45% in 2011 to 71% in 2021. Among 16 to 44-year-olds, as many as 97% of us use social media and scrolling is the most frequent online activity we perform.

Journal Reference:
Jeffrey Lambert et al. Taking a One-Week Break from Social Media Improves Well-Being, Depression, and Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial [open] Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2022
DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2021.0324


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  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @09:43AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @09:43AM (#1244941)

    I'm so much more productive since I left S/N, I now have enough time to dedicate to good old plain masturbation instead of the intellectual kind.
    Come on, give it a try, feel it for yourself.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @10:01AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @10:01AM (#1244944)

      "Feel it for yourself"

      I see what you did there.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @02:41PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @02:41PM (#1244972)

        I see what you did there.

        I doubt it, as I don't masturbate in public.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @07:15PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @07:15PM (#1244997)

          If only rubbing my belly solved hunger! You fools need to learn how to multi-task. I post all of my comments from the market.

          posted one-handed from my iPhone

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @07:27PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @07:27PM (#1244999)

            I'm not saying all iPhone users are wankers.

  • (Score: 2, Redundant) by Opportunist on Saturday May 14, @10:58AM (3 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday May 14, @10:58AM (#1244947)

    Not reading constantly from your filter bubble that the sky is falling may alleviate anxiety and depression? Seriously?

    Who the hell gets money for studies like this?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by driverless on Saturday May 14, @12:46PM (2 children)

      by driverless (4770) on Saturday May 14, @12:46PM (#1244963)

      It's important to have clinical trials like this to point to when pointing out that social media is toxic. With this, it's "clinical trials demonstrate the toxic effects of social media". Without it, it's "people wanking around with their opinions claim social media is toxic".

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday May 14, @10:11PM (1 child)

        by Gaaark (41) on Saturday May 14, @10:11PM (#1245020) Journal

        I'd like to know if this was posted on any social media venues.

        Kind of doubting it, but i have no idea: can't see social media shooting itself.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 2) by driverless on Sunday May 15, @08:14AM

          by driverless (4770) on Sunday May 15, @08:14AM (#1245066)

          Not necessarily, cigarette packets have had "these things will kill you" on them for decades without having much effect (what worked was laws restricting smoking more and more combined with the message that it was socially unacceptable, not smokers being told it was bad).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @11:05AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @11:05AM (#1244948)

    I guess I'm the 3% that doesn't use the stuff...

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @12:24PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @12:24PM (#1244955)

      Just to be clear, even though you do not use social media...it uses you.
      Ghost profiles are being created on EVERYONE that does not have an account.
      That means if you happen to be in a photo shoot indirectly, your face will be added to the collective and all associated data about your surf habits..

      Great job on not using social media, however, it will continue to use you.

    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Saturday May 14, @12:43PM

      by driverless (4770) on Saturday May 14, @12:43PM (#1244962)

      So you're safe. You need to look at it the other way round, what it's saying is that social media is a toxin and that a trial removal of that toxin has positive effects for your mental health. It has a net negative effect on your mental health when you're exposed to it.

    • (Score: 2) by bmimatt on Saturday May 14, @11:44PM

      by bmimatt (5050) on Saturday May 14, @11:44PM (#1245030)

      There are dozens of us! DOZENS!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @05:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @05:15PM (#1244984)

    here they print all manner of nasty pictures on the cigarette boxes ... maybe they can mandate ugly and scare icons for social media apps? or force to watch some 10 sec AD about the toxic dangers when opening the app? \

    surgeon generals warning: social media apps can cause depression, anxiety and a general lousy feeling.

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