Social media is a fantastic tool to connect personally with friends and family, and groups with common interests. For businesses, social media can make it easier to engage with your customers. But we all know there is a darker side to social media. Tech Crunch brought this interesting topic to us in their article, “Limiting social media use reduced loneliness and depression in new experiment.”

The idea that social media can be harmful to our mental and emotional well-being is not new. Many professionals have pointed out the potential dangers that are lurking on the sites, not to mention my mother. However, there has been little to no research done to directly measure the effect.

A new experimental study out of Penn State directly links more social media use to worse emotional states, and less use to better. It is important to recognize that a simple survey asking people to self-report, may not be scientifically reliable. In fact, there is no maybe about it. However, even with the clarifications made, it is important to note the findings of the simple survey.

“The limited use group showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression over three weeks compared to the control group. Both groups showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out over baseline, suggesting a benefit of increased self-monitoring.”

The researchers acknowledged the limited nature of their study and suggested numerous future directions for colleagues in the field.

Melody K. Smith

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