Today we explore how you can improve your health with a digital detox.
Social media is central to so many of our lives. Many spend hours each day on Facebook, Instagram, and other popular social media. Given the adverse effects of social media use on health, should you take a break from your devices? What is the evidence for doing a digital detox? Today we explore the evidence for taking a break from your device screens.
Social media has become part of people’s daily activities; many spend hours on Messenger, Instagram, Facebook, and other popular social media. Excessive social media consumption can lead to health problems, including anxiety and depression.
We begin with a systematic review that indicates that excessive social media consumption can lead to adverse psychological outcomes like anxiety and depression.
The analysis included 16 studies, with anxiety and depression being the most commonly measured outcomes. Three risk factors emerged as the most important. These variables included time spent, activity, and addiction to social media.
Digital detoxification: Can reducing your exposure to social media be worthwhile? One research study sought to determine whether taking a break from social media improved psychological measures.
Recognizing the association between excessive screen time and anxiety, mood disorders, distress, impulse control, substance abuse, and other ills, researchers looked at the effects of social media use and digital detoxes among a group of 68 college students.
Subjects answered a survey during the 2018 to 2019 academic year. Forty percent voluntarily did social media detoxification. The detox had benefits for the majority of the participants. Most saw improvements in academic performance, mood, sleep, and anxiety. By the study’s end, 46 percent responded that they would consider repeating a digital detoxification period in the future.
Does the study offer high-level evidence of the benefits of a social media detox? No. For example, the participants had a low response rate. Many students could have ignored the email request for participation in the research investigation. The researchers also did not standardize what constitutes social media detoxification.
I want to present another study that randomized 143 undergraduates to either social media use of no more than ten minutes daily versus continuing their usual social media use. The study spanned three weeks.
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