A new study from the
University of Pennsylvania suggests prolonged exposure to social
media might be the cause - which for some will come as little
surprise, even though it seems to be the exact opposite of what
social networks are supposed to do.
The study entitled "No More FOMO - Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression" * was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
Fear of Missing Out
The participants were then split into a control group which maintained their average normal social media habits, and an experimental group which was limited to 10 minutes on each of the three platforms every day.
The study considered several outcome measures regarding the users' well-being including,
During the following three weeks the participants kept sharing screenshots of their social media time. The data was then compared to surveys by participants which tracked their mood and well-being.
The conclusions were clear:
Social media has become as fiercely competitive as the rest of our lives, with users struggling desperately with one another for likes, shares and followers, and now it is clear that this can have serious side-effects.
While the study has
identified the problem, the odds of anyone missing out on the
latest cat memes and pictures of their friend's lunch for
something as trivial as mental health seems unlikely.