London: Reducing social media use by 15 minutes a day can significantly improve general health and immune function and reduce levels of loneliness and depression, suggests new research.
The study, published in the Journal of Technology in Behavior Science, showed that the people who reduced their social media use had an average 15 per cent improvement in immune function, including fewer colds, flu, warts, and verrucae.
They also showed a 50 per cent improvement in sleep quality, and 30 per cent fewer depressive symptoms.
“These data demonstrate that, when people reduce their social media use, their lives can improve in many ways — including benefits for their physical health and psychological well-being,” said Professor Phil Reed, from Swansea University’s School of Psychology.
“It remains to be established whether the relationship between social media use and health factors is a direct one, or whether changes in well-being variables, such as depression, or other factors, such as an increase in physical activity, mediate it,” he added.
The social media platforms are designed to be addictive and are associated with anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments.
Another study published by the American Psychological Association showed that teenagers and young adults who reduced their social media use by 50 per cent for just a few weeks saw significant improvement in how they felt about both their weight and their overall appearance.