There is nothing right or wrong in the world of technology. All that matters is how you handle yourself being in the hands of this digital world. In this technological era where social media has become an important aspect of our lives, people, especially the young generation, spend almost 90% of their time scrolling through social media. Their lives have been so much affected by it that they don’t even notice how negatively it has affected their day-to-day activities. A considerable amount of research has been carried out to determine the impact of social media on our lives. Recent research from the University of Bath was conducted to investigate the relationship between the use of social media and the mental health of people. The sample size of the study was 154 participants, ranging from age 18 to 72, who were categorized into two groups, i.e., the intervention group and the control group.
The intervention group consists of the participants who will use social media for a week but will then be intervened upon and asked to cease it for seven days. The next group, which is the control group, is instructed to neither stop nor overdo the usage but to keep using it continuously at the same pace. The parameters taken into consideration were “anxiety, depression, and well-being”. Lead researcher from Bath’s Department for Health, Dr. Jeff Lambert, stated that “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”.
The first group was told to keep using social media for one week, and after one week, they were restricted from it. Results were being analyzed from both the situations, and it was discovered that when they were not using social media, they felt relaxed, light-hearted, and calm. On the other hand, the control group showed signs of anxiety, depression, and misery. In contrast to that, the intervening group was then instructed to keep using social media but for an average of 21 minutes rather than using it endlessly for a week. Their screen usage has been considerably reduced as compared to the control group, and they showed signs of contentment, bliss, and satisfaction.
So, we concluded that no matter how much you enjoy using social media, it is hindering your growth and your mental well-being. Thus, it is always prescribed to use it within certain boundaries to keep your mental and physical health in good hands. As Dr. Jeff said, “We know that social media usage is huge and that there are increasing concerns about its mental health effects, so with this study, we wanted to see whether simply asking people to take a week’s break could yield mental health benefits.” 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”.