Researchers randomly assigned 154 people aged 18 to 72 who reported using social media every day to one of two groups. The results the study found was that avoiding social media for just one week cuts down on depression.
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In the United Kingdom, the proportion of adults who use social media climbed from 45% in 2011 to 71% in 2021. Approximately 97 percent of individuals aged 16 to 44 use social media on a regular basis, and 95 percent of adults have used the internet in the last three months.
A study undertaken by experts at the University of Bath discovered that spending a week off from social media enhances a person’s well-being and lowers melancholy and anxiety. The study’s authors also propose that having a break from social media might well be advocated in the future to assist people regulate their mental health.
Before the study began, participants were asked to rate their anxiety, depression, and overall well-being (satisfaction and sense of purpose). Participants in the study ranged in age from 18 to 72 and used social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
Participants in the survey (read below) acknowledged devoting an average of eight hours each week on social media. Giving up social media for a week provided some users nine hours of spare time.
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Researchers randomly assigned 154 people aged 18 to 72 who reported using social media every day to one of two groups: one in which participants were requested to refrain from using all social media for one week, and another in which respondents may continue to use social media as usual. The participants’ average age was 29.6.
The experimental group that was urged to avoid social media found it very challenging to do so and expended an average of 21 minutes online—roughly three minutes every day. Those who were permitted to continue using social media did so for an average of 7 hours.
“Scrolling social media is so ubiquitous that many of us do it almost without thinking from the moment we wake up to when we close our eyes at night,” said Dr. Jeff Lambert, chief researcher from Bath’s Department of Health. “Many of our participants reported positive effects from being off social media with improved mood and less anxiety overall. This suggests that even just a small break can have an impact.”
Participants who completed the one-week “detox” from social media indicated substantial gains in well-being, depression, and anxiety relative to those who continued to use social media.
Read the study below: