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Want youth to be happier, healthier? Limit their social media use, study finds

Summarised by Centrist

Cutting down social media improved mental health in young adults experiencing emotional distress, according to a recent Canadian experiment which also found improved sleep quality when social media screen time was reduced to under an hour a day.

The study, from Dr Chris Davis of the Stress and Coping Lab at Carleton University, found that decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fear of missing out (FoMO) were the results from limiting social media screen time to one hour per day over three weeks. 

Davis told PsyPost over 81% of Canadian youth use social media for at least two hours daily (mostly on smartphones) suggesting a correlation between heavy social media use, anxiety and depression.

“Many people interpreted this correlation as evidence that excessive social media use was harmful to the mental health of teens and young adults,” Davis said, adding “I expected that those asked to cut down their time on social media would report an increase in FoMO. In fact, we found that this (cutting down) group showed less FoMO at the end of the study compared to both their initial level and relative to the control group.”

The study can be read here

Read more over at Psypost

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