A Little Social Media Break Can Have Surprising Health Benefits | digital trends

Social media isn’t the healthiest recreational activity out there; I can personally attest to that. Aside from plenty of independent research that has established a clear link between social media use and a deteriorating mental health graph, it has even been known to lead to depression, anxiety, false trends, and rampant misinformation that stimulate self-harm tendencies among users.

To make matters worse, social media platforms don’t make it any easier. Algorithms tap into the addictive side of consuming online content, trying to keep users engaged with a never-ending barrage of interest-based recommendations. For many users, that means hours of inactivity and slacking off on their phone screens.


But it seems that reducing your daily social media browsing time is not only good for your mental health but also for your physical well-being. Published in the Journal of Technology in Behavior Science, new research from Swansea University suggests that reducing the time spent browsing social media by as little as 15 minutes offers a tangible improvement in physical health.

As part of the research, experts from the Swansea University School of Medicine and Health Sciences asked participants aged 20 to 25 to submit weekly reports on their physical and psychological health after reducing their social activity. social. Users who followed the suggestion reported “an average 15% improvement in immune function, including fewer colds, flu, warts, and warts.”

works better than expected

Using the Twitter application on the Xiaomi 13 Pro.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Most people go for social media binge sessions in sedentary settings, like lying on a bed or on a couch. So, we can infer that by reducing social media use, people were spending that time on some other activity or just giving their bodies more rest, and that’s what contributed to their physical well-being, right?

“It is a reasonable assumption that reducing social media use allows for other activities, which may be healthier. We don’t really know that; It may be, or the health-improving effects could be due to reduced stress associated with not using social media,” Professor Phil Reed from the Department of Psychology at Swansea University told Digital Trends. “Leaving them the freedom to choose what to do with their extra time is much more effective,” he adds.

In addition to better physical health, participants who reduced their social media activity also reported a 50% improvement in sleep quality and a 30% reduction in depressive symptoms. In fact, the test was so effective that people who were asked to reduce their time on social media by 15 minutes each day ended up reducing their social media exposure by about 40 minutes.

Some mischievous behavior, too

A black and white image of cartoon characters looking at their phones.

When asked if this was the first study of its kind to establish a link between reduced social media use and physical well-being, Professor Reed responded in the affirmative. “I think this is the first study of its kind to establish a clear link between reduced social media use and physical well-being. Several others have looked at the effect of reducing social media use on psychological well-being, but not physical well-being,” he told Digital Trends.

However, there is still one aspect to be resolved, establishing a direct correlation between the use of social networks and health problems, or if changes in well-being variables, such as depression, or other factors (such as increased physical activity), They are the agents that catalyze positive changes. The truth is that the net impact is positive.

Conducted over a three-month period, the study also came to a surprising conclusion. According to the research, telling people to reduce their screen time on social media for a fixed duration and spend that time on other activities actually had the opposite effect. This group ended up increasing their social media browsing duration by an even larger margin than the recommended cut.

So, at the end of the day, here’s the bottom line. Reducing your social media consumption in a package as small as 15 minutes could result in “less reliance on social media and better overall health and immune functioning, as well as reduced feelings of loneliness and depression.”

An abridged version of the study can be read on the Swansea University website, while the full research paper is also available.

Editors’ Recommendations

Source link

James D. Brown
James D. Brown
Articles: 9387