An experimental study by psychology researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being.
After the three weeks were up, the students were surveyed again using the same tools to measure their well-being. These tools measured outcomes like depression, loneliness, anxiety, and that most millennial of worries, fear of missing out. The group of students who limited their social media usage showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out from the start of the experiment. In particular, people who had higher levels of depression at the start of the study showed a decrease in depressive symptoms when they limited their social media time.
One subject described the experience personally: “Not comparing my life to the lives of others had a much stronger impact than I expected, and I felt a lot more positive about myself during those weeks.”