Dr Jeff Lambert, who led the team of researchers from the University of Bath, said: “Social media is life for many people, it’s an integral part of shaping who they are and how they are. interact with others. But if you’re spending hours a week on social media and you’re starting to feel the negative effects, you should cut back on it to see if it helps.”
People who paused using platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for a week reported feeling happier.
The researchers conducted the experiment with 154 people aged 18-72 years old. They were divided into two groups, one group was banned from using social networks while the other group was not. Participants were asked about their levels of anxiety and depression as well as feelings of happiness, using three recognized tests.
They were asked to rate their agreement with questions such as “I feel optimistic about the future” and “I think clearly” to measure health.
To measure depression, participants were asked questions including how often they were affected by feelings of loss of interest during the past two weeks.
Anxiety is monitored using the General Anxiety Disorder Scale, which asks how often a person is bothered by feeling anxious, stressed, or having an inability to control anxiety.
People who took a week off from social media saw their health increase from an average of 46 to 55.93 on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Health Scale. The depression level of this group decreased from 7.46 to 4.84 in the Patient Health Questionnaire while anxiety decreased from 6.92 to 5.94.
These changes represent a moderate improvement in depression and well-being, as well as a slight improvement in anxiety, said Dr. Jeff Lambert.
“Many trial participants reported positive effects from not using social media with improved mood and less anxiety overall,” said Lambert. This shows that even a small amount of rest can have a beneficial effect.”
Research says the number of adults in the UK using social media has increased from 45 per cent in 2011 to 71 per cent in 2021 and hit 97 per cent among 16 to 44 year olds. Content scrolling is the most common activity performed by social media users. Previous studies in both the US and the UK have shown that frequent social media use increases rates of depression and anxiety levels.
But it has not been determined whether social media use leads to mental health problems. In the future, the researchers hope to find out the impact of social media pauses on specific segments of the population, such as younger people and those with medical conditions. physical and mental.
They also hope to track people to see if the benefits of taking a social media break last. Taking a break from social media could become one of the clinical recommendations to help people take control of their mental health.
James Duigan, a world-renowned personal trainer and health author shared his tips on how to do a digital detox.
Social media can help bring people together and provide inspiration from positive comments. But their flip side is a constant nuisance, a constant distraction that prevents you from living in the present moment.
First, replace the addiction with something else. “Use an app called Freedom to block Instagram, Facebook and Twitter apps,” suggested Mr. Duigan. The application allows you to choose how long you want to block certain applications.
The second step is simple: just log out. Creating an extra “barrier” between you and the feed will help combat the lure of endless scrolling.
The third step is to catch up with reality and make sure you’re keeping an eye on what’s going on around you. “No selfies, no boomerangs. no Snapchat, at least for a day. Don’t lose the moment by trying to capture it. Live in the moment and they will live forever in the memory,” Duigan said.
Huong Dung (According to Daily Mail)