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20226/27

It turns out that leaving social media for a week increases happiness and improves depression and anxiety

While social media can help you get a lot of information and communicate with friends and acquaintances, it also has the disadvantage of being stressful and time-consuming.

Hello, this is Santoshi.

SNS addiction that you can’t do even if you want to stop is a problem in Japan as well.

I also inevitably see SNS notifications.

As a result of an experiment to “Taking a One-Week Break from Social Media”, a paper was published that cutting off social media increased happiness and improved problems such as depression and anxiety.

Taking a One-Week Break from Social Media Improves Well-Being, Depression, and Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial | Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/cyber.2021.0324

One week social media break improves overall well-being, depression, anxiety | Health – Hindustan Times
https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/health/one-week-break-from-social-media-improves-overall-well-being-depression-anxiety-study-101651895992329.html

Taking a Break from Social Media Makes you Happier and Less Anxious – Study Hacks – Cal Newport
https://www.calnewport.com/blog/2022/05/16/taking-a-break-from-social-media-makes-you-happier-and-less-anxious/

What kind of experiment was it?


“Social media scrolling has become universal, and many people go almost unknowingly from waking up to sleeping at night,” said Jeffrey Lambert, senior researcher at the University of Bath’s Faculty of Health. He pointed out that there are concerns about the impact of social media on mental health. Therefore, the research team of Lambert et al. Conducted an experiment in which subjects were asked to “cut off social media for a week” to investigate their effects on mental health.


In this experiment, the research team gathered 154 subjects aged 18 to 72 years who use social media every day, and randomly “a group that quits all social media for a week” and “, use of social media as before.” Divided into “groups to continue”. We also measured baseline scores for anxiety, depression, and well-being at the start of the study. All of the subjects this time are people who use social media every day. And at the beginning of the study, they spent an average of eight hours a week on social media.


In the experiment, the group who continued to use it as before averaged 7 hours per week on social media, while the group who was asked to cut off social media averaged 21 minutes. The research team stated that they used screen usage statistics to find out if the subject was really cutting off social media.


At the end of the one-week experiment period, anxiety, depression, and happiness scores were measured again, and happiness increased significantly in the group asked to cut off social media for one week.

Depression and anxiety scores were also found to be significantly improved. These results were maintained even after considering pre-experimental baseline scores, age, and gender. We also saw these effects just by reducing the amount of time spent on social media. However, it seems that the subjects who succeeded in completely cutting off social media had the greatest effect.

Conclusion

Lambert reports positive effects, such as the fact that many of the subjects feel better and have less overall anxiety as they move away from social media.

Lambert argued that even a small amount of rest was suggested to have an effect.


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.. “
Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University.

This study does not analyze based on a large data set.

He pointed out that it was characterized by conducting a randomized controlled trial in which recruited subjects were randomly assigned to different groups.

“I can’t vouch without equivocation for the strength of its findings. But given the simple study design and the clear effects it revealed, the message here seems to be clear: social media hurts mental health. Which motivates an obvious follow-up question: Why do we insist on still shrugging our shoulders and continuing to treat the use of these tools like some sort of unavoidable civic and professional necessity?” he said.

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