Breaking News
February 22, 2019 - Researchers create new map of the brain’s own immune system
February 22, 2019 - ICHE’s reviews on surgical infections, unnecessary urine tests, and nurses’ role in antibiotic stewardship
February 22, 2019 - UK Research and Innovation invests £200 million to create new generation of AI leaders
February 22, 2019 - Takeda collaboration to boost fight against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
February 22, 2019 - Heavy drinking may change DNA, leading to increased craving for alcohol
February 22, 2019 - U.S. opioid deaths jump fourfold in 20 years; epidemic shifts to Eastern states | News Center
February 22, 2019 - 5 Questions with William Turner on Diversity in Medicine
February 22, 2019 - HHS Finalizes Rule Seeking To Expel Planned Parenthood From Family Planning Program
February 22, 2019 - Researchers uncover biochemical pathway that may help identify drugs to treat Alzheimer’s
February 22, 2019 - Biologist uses new grant to find ways to eliminate schistosomiasis
February 22, 2019 - Bag-mask ventilation to help patients breathe during intubation prevents complications
February 22, 2019 - AbbVie Announces New Drug Application Accepted for Priority Review by FDA for Upadacitinib for Treatment of Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
February 22, 2019 - Nature versus nurture and addiction
February 22, 2019 - New website connects researchers with data experts, resources | News Center
February 22, 2019 - Today’s Concerns About Drug Prices Echo The Past
February 22, 2019 - CT and Doppler equipment have low accuracy in detecting cerebral vasospasm and ischemia
February 22, 2019 - Study finds out similarity in function between healthy retina cell and tumor cell
February 22, 2019 - CWRU awarded NIH grant to identify effective treatments for intimate partner violence
February 22, 2019 - Oncotype DX Not Cost-Effective for Low-Risk Breast Cancer
February 22, 2019 - Scientists discover new type of immune cells that are essential for forming heart valves
February 22, 2019 - Talk About Déjà Vu: Senators Set To Re-Enact Drug Price Hearing Of 60 Years Ago
February 22, 2019 - Genetic defect linked to pediatric liver disease identified
February 22, 2019 - New cellular atlas could provide a deeper insight into blinding diseases
February 22, 2019 - Growing number of cancer survivors, fewer providers point to challenge in meeting care needs
February 22, 2019 - Innovative compound offers a new therapeutic approach to treat multiple sclerosis
February 22, 2019 - $1.5 million grant to develop opioid treatment program for jail detainees
February 22, 2019 - FDA’s new proposed rule would update regulatory requirements for sunscreen products in the U.S
February 22, 2019 - Most Hip, Knee Replacements Last Decades, Study Finds
February 22, 2019 - Wellness problems prevalent among ob-gyn residents
February 22, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “The world is your oyster in geriatrics”
February 22, 2019 - Successful testing of multi-organ “human-on-a-chip” could replace animals as test subjects
February 22, 2019 - Analysis of cervical precancer shows decline in two strains of HPV
February 22, 2019 - Sugary stent eases suturing of blood vessels
February 22, 2019 - From surgery to psychiatry: A medical student reevaluates his motivations
February 22, 2019 - Is New App From Feds Your Answer To Navigating Medicare Coverage? Yes And No
February 22, 2019 - New pacemakers powered by heartbeats could reduce need for surgery
February 22, 2019 - The United States records highest drug overdose death rates
February 22, 2019 - Phase 1 data reinforce safety profile of new drug for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy
February 22, 2019 - Vitamin D supplementation less effective in the presence of obesity, shows study
February 22, 2019 - Novostia raises CHF 6.5 million to advance its aortic, mitral heart valve to clinical trials
February 22, 2019 - CPRIT awards nearly $20 million to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
February 22, 2019 - Sarepta Announces FDA Acceptance of Golodirsen (SRP-4053) New Drug Application for Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Amenable to Skipping Exon 53
February 22, 2019 - An institutional effort to reduce the amount of opioids prescribed following lumbar surgery
February 22, 2019 - Family-history-based models perform better than non-family-history based models
February 22, 2019 - Failure to take statins leads to higher mortality rates | News Center
February 22, 2019 - New study explains why some patients report phantom sensations after limb amputation
February 22, 2019 - First motor-controlled heart valves implanted by Mainz University Medical Center
February 22, 2019 - Novel preclinical model mimics persistent interneuron loss seen in preterm infants
February 22, 2019 - Global health burden of glaucoma has increased, study reveals
February 22, 2019 - A holistic approach key to minimize treatment complexity in patients with interstitial lung disease
February 22, 2019 - 1 in 10 middle-aged Chinese adults are at high risk for heart disease, finds study
February 22, 2019 - More than half a million breast cancer patient’s lives saved by improvements in treatment
February 22, 2019 - Study finds no evidence that tougher policies prevent teenage cannabis use
February 22, 2019 - New blood test detects genetic disorders in fetuses
February 22, 2019 - Lower Self-Perception Observed in Children With Amblyopia
February 22, 2019 - Up to 15 percent of children have sleep apnea, yet 90 percent go undiagnosed
February 22, 2019 - Rare pulmonary defect prompts parents’ nationwide search for answers | News Center
February 22, 2019 - Lesbian and bisexual women at greater risk of being overweight, study finds
February 22, 2019 - UQ research may explain why vitamin D is essential for brain health
February 22, 2019 - Heart Attacks Rising Among Younger Women
February 22, 2019 - How your smartphone is affecting your relationship
February 22, 2019 - Orthopaedic surgeon receives prestigious award, $10 million grant | News Center
February 22, 2019 - New sepsis test could save thousands of lives
February 22, 2019 - Cervical cancer could be eradicated by 2100
February 21, 2019 - Sustained smoking cessation can lower risk of seropositive RA
February 21, 2019 - Thousands with chronic UTIs are not receiving the treatment they need
February 21, 2019 - Are teens getting high on social media? The surprising study seeking the pot-Instagram link
February 21, 2019 - Stanford expands biobank services | News Center
February 21, 2019 - Scientists identify link between drinking contexts and early onset intoxication among adolescents
February 21, 2019 - Strong social support may reduce cardiovascular disease risk in postmenopausal women
February 21, 2019 - Rapid expansion of interventions could prevent up to 13 million cases of cervical cancer within 50 years
February 21, 2019 - Motif Bio Receives Complete Response Letter From The FDA
February 21, 2019 - Researchers map previously unknown disease in children
February 21, 2019 - A skeptical look at popular diets: Going gluten-free
February 21, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ How Safe Are Your Supplements?
February 21, 2019 - Factors associated with increased risk of developing surgical site infections
February 21, 2019 - Anticipatory signals in eye movements can help measure attentive capacity, learning with greater precision
February 21, 2019 - Study explores daily exposure to indoor air pollutants
February 21, 2019 - Evening exercise does not negatively affect sleep, may also reduce hunger
February 21, 2019 - Artificial intelligence technique can be used to identify alcohol misuse in trauma setting
All That Social Media May Boost Loneliness, Not Banish It

All That Social Media May Boost Loneliness, Not Banish It

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14, 2018 — For the billions of young people who seek community and connection on social media, new research warns their search may be in vain.

Instead, spending too much time on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram may actually increase the risk of depression and loneliness.

So concludes a small analysis that tracked the impact such sites had on the mental health of 143 users between the ages of 18 and 22.

Over the course of a week, some participants were told to use the sites as often as they normally would, which typically came to about an hour a day. Others were asked to limit their usage to just 10 minutes a day per site, amounting to a total of about 25 minutes per day.

The result? “Ours is the first study to establish that reducing social media use actually causes reductions in depression,” said study author Melissa Hunt. She is the associate director of clinical training in the department of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The main finding of the paper is that limiting your use of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to 30 minutes total or less per day results in reductions in depression and loneliness, especially for people who were moderately depressed to start with,” Hunt said.

“Our study cannot speak directly to why this happens,” she stressed. “But prior research strongly suggests that negative social comparison — my life is worse than other people’s lives — and feeling left out of activities and experiences shared by others probably explains a lot of it.”

The study team noted that 78 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 use Snapchat, while more than seven in 10 young adults use Instagram.

Meanwhile, nearly as many American adults have a Facebook account (68 percent), and three-quarters of those say they use it every day.

All of the participants were UPenn undergraduates (108 women and 35 men) enrolled in psychology courses. All had an iPhone already loaded with all three site apps.

Participants first completed a pre-experiment survey to assess their feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, fear of missing out (FOMO), sense of social support, sense of self-esteem, and perceptions regarding self-acceptance and autonomy.

After tracking each participant’s normal use of all three sites for a week, the team observed that, for the most part, those struggling with greater mental “distress” did not typically spend more time on social media.

However, those who struggled with FOMO were the exception; they did tend to spend more time using social media.

The study participants were then randomly assigned to either unlimited or restricted access for a second week, after which mental health was re-assessed.

The results suggested that restricting social media use had a “significant” and beneficial impact by reducing depressive symptoms, especially among those who had been moderately or highly depressed. Time restrictions also reduced feelings of loneliness.

But the restrictions had no impact on feelings of social support, self-esteem or one’s overall sense of well-being. Whether the findings would also apply to older users remains an open question, the study authors noted.

While not advocating for a total divorce from all social media, the team acknowledged that identifying the perfect sweet spot for ideal usage habits remains elusive.

The findings will be published in the December issue of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Dr. Brian Primack is director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

He described the findings as “important,” noting that “because of its experimental design, this study goes an important step further [than prior research] in showing that actively reducing social media use can be helpful.”

Primack added that linking a clear mental health benefit to a half-hour of usage per day is a helpful marker.

“However, it is important to note that all social media use is not the same,” said Primack. “Thirty minutes of use may be spent connecting with loved ones, or it may focus instead on having aggressive interactions about hot-button issues. So, future research might expand findings like this by exploring different contexts of social media use.”

More information

There’s more on social media use and depression risk at RAND Corp.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2018

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles