A study carried out by researchers at the University of Bath (United Kingdom) has shown that reducing the use of social networks improves our well-being and reduces levels of depression and anxiety. The authors concluded that these were the benefits of not using social networks for a week, the period of time that was analyzed in the study.
It’s hard to find someone who is completely oblivious to social media. More or less we have all fallen into the temptation of these applications. In order to see how it would affect us if we stopped using them for a week, this study was carried out, published by the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
In the study, the researchers took a total of 154 people and administered a questionnaire in which they evaluated their level of well-being and mental health. They found that they spent an average of 8 hours a week on social media.
They then divided them into two groups. While some had to stop using social networks, others had to use them normally. Of course, the researchers did not control that the first group stopped using them -although they were told how to block them or deactivate notifications, for example- so that once the study week had passed, they could see what their consumption had been.
Some very enlightening conclusions
One week after the start of the study, the participants returned to answer a questionnaire. The researchers found that the first group reduced their social media use to just 28 minutes per week and concluded that they had experienced improved mental health: while well-being had increased, both anxiety and depression had decreased.
Despite this, the researchers conclude by noting that further studies “should extend this result to clinical populations and examine long-term effects.”
Work, family and other obligations mean that we often spend the weeks at breakneck speed, without all the time we would like to dedicate to our hobbies. However, this study has found that we spend an average of eight hours a week consuming social networks. Eight hours is a lot of minutes that we can use to ride a bike, for example.
By now, almost anyone will know that sport is beneficial. And in particular cycling brings great benefits.
Although the study concludes something that we could already guess, it also leads us to reflect on how much of the time we spend on social networks we could dedicate to cycling, a healthy hobby as long as we practice it according to our abilities and that takes us away from the damage that social networks can cause in our mental health.