Decreasing Social Media Use Improves Mental Health

Hunt et al., from the University of Pennsylvania, have recently published their findings on the effects of social media use on well-being. After baseline monitoring, 143 undergraduates were randomly split into 2 groups. The first group (control group) continued to use Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as usual whereas the second group was restricted to 10 min per platform per day i.e. 30 min/day in total. The authors found that “the limited use group showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression over three weeks compared to the control group. Both groups showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out over baseline, suggesting a benefit of increased self-monitoring.¬†Our findings strongly suggest that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day may lead to significant improvement in well-being.

It would be interesting to know whether limiting use even further could yield better results. Also, could some social media platforms be worse for mental health than others?