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Below 30 minutes of social media use a day improves health- Study

How much do you use social media? It’s a general assumption that social network apps consume a considerable portion of our daily lives. There are the good, the bad, and the ugly sides to it. Recently, a recent survey suggested that using social networking platforms for less than 30 minutes per day actually improves a person’s physical and mental health.

Social media means consistent updates with things with those that are important and not so much. The users’ subconscious gets programmed in such a way that not going online on any such platform induces the fear of not keeping track of something. So, there is tremendous pressure on users to stay updated with everything- this phenomenon is called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

The urge to use social media frequently stems from the fear of missing out aka “fomo”

“We suspect that people tend to use social networks to generate positive emotions that they’re missing in their everyday working lives, especially when they are feeling overworked,” explains Julia Brailovskaia, Associate Professor from the Mental Health Research and Treatment Center at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.

“In addition, some platforms such as LinkedIn also offer the opportunity to look for new jobs if you’re unhappy with your current role,” she adds.

Recently, we had a post about the effects of using smartphones for over 4 hours a day on teenagers, the effects could be in general for all. Here, we show what the survey brought forth about using social media apps on users’ daily lives in relation to stress levels, job satisfaction, and mental health.

Read next: Government bans TikTok in Nepal citing social damage

Social media can offer an escape from real work and improve health

She elaborates that using social media improves people’s mood as it serves as an escape from the real world. But using it to a habitual extent could lead to turning it into an addiction, she warns.

To study the correlation between social media and users’ daily health, a team divided a group into two which comprised 166 participants. These people were either engaged in part-time or full-time jobs and spent an average of 35 minutes a day on social media. When participants were assigned one of two groups, one group reduced their social media usage by 30 minutes a day for seven days.

social media facebook

The participants in the survey were inquired with information about their work, workload, job satisfaction, physical and mental well-being, stress, FOMO, etc. before the experiment, the day after it began, and a week later. The idea was to correspond their daily moods with social media use and its addition.

participants who reduced their soial media use to 30 minutes a day improved their job satisfaction and mental health

“Even after this short period, we found that the group that spent 30 minutes less a day on social media significantly improved their job satisfaction and mental health,” Brailovskaia said.

“The participants in this group felt less overworked and were more committed on the job than the control group,” she elaborated. The survey noticed that these people’s FOMO also declined. The participants who had reduced their social media consumption by their choice continued to do so later.

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Less social media use means less workload stress

The researchers state that by reducing their use of social media, participants had more time to do their jobs efficiently and they felt less work-related stress. They also didn’t have diverted attention between jobs and social media apps.

“Our brains can’t cope well with constant distraction from a task,” Brailovskaia said.

“People who frequently stop what they’re doing in order to catch up on their social media feed find it more difficult to focus on their work and they achieve poorer results.”

This study has been published in the journal Behaviour and Information Technology.

By the way, how much time do you spend your time on social media or the internet? And you may want to check out the new social media rules including what you can’t do on any social network platform in Nepal. Have you found it benefitting or offering you solace free of stress? Do share in the comments below.

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