A week away from social media was found to increase happiness and improve depression and anxiety


Social media can be helpful in obtaining a variety of information and communicating with friends and acquaintances, but it also has its downsides, such as stress and time suck.

Hello, this  is Santoshi.

I too get restless when I am using social media because I am worried about what is happening, and as a result, I get frustrated. Is it really unhappy to use social media, or can it make me happy?

A paper published in the Journal of Social Media Research (JSR) found that abstaining from social media for a week increased happiness and improved problems such as depression and anxiety.

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One week social media break improves overall well-being, depression, anxiety | Health – Hindustan Times


Jeffrey Lambert, a senior researcher at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Bath, UK, noted that “social media scrolling has become universal, with many people doing it almost unconsciously from the moment they wake up in the morning until they go to sleep at night,” and that there is concern about the impact of social media on mental health. He noted that there is concern about the impact of social media on mental health. Lambert and his team conducted an experiment in which they asked participants to “abstain from social media for a week” to determine the impact on their mental health.


For the experiment, the team gathered 154 subjects between the ages of 18 and 72 who used social media daily and randomly divided them into two groups: one group that stopped using all social media for one week and another group that continued to use social media as usual. They also measured baseline scores for anxiety, depression, and happiness at the beginning of the study. The subjects were all daily users of social media, spending an average of 8 hours per week on social media at the beginning of the study.


The group that continued to use social media as usual averaged 7 hours of social media use per week, while the group that was asked to abstain from social media averaged 21 minutes. The team noted that they used screen usage statistics to determine if the subjects were truly abstaining from social media.

At the end of the one-week experiment, anxiety, depression, and happiness scores were measured again, and it was found that the group asked to abstain from social media for one week showed a significant increase in happiness and significant improvements in depression and anxiety scores. These results held even after controlling for pre-experimental baseline scores, age, and gender. In addition, these effects were also seen by simply reducing the amount of time spent on social media, but the greatest effects were seen in subjects who successfully abstained from social media altogether.


Lambert asserted that many of the subjects reported positive effects of being away from social media, such as improved mood and less anxiety overall, suggesting that even a small break can have an impact. Of course, social media is a part of life for many people and an essential part of who they are and their relationships with others,” he said. But if you spend hours each week scrolling through screens and feel that it’s having a negative impact on you, perhaps cutting back on your use could be the answer.”


Cal Newport, associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, noted that the study was unique in that it was not based on a large data set that was analyzed, but rather a randomized controlled trial that randomly assigned recruited subjects to different groups. Given the simple study design and the clear effects it revealed, “the message here seems clear. Social media hurts mental health,” he stated.