There have been many studies that show that social media websites can cause psychological distress, loneliness, and depression from being glued to it. However, a 2018 study has shown that when undergraduates decrease their social media use by 30 minutes a day, it can improve their mental health. By limiting your social media use, you can spend more time living in the real world which will further improve your mental health

How Does Facebook Use For Adults Affect Research Findings?

Professor Keith Hampton of Michigan State University in East Lansing believes that the problem with previous research findings is that they all involved young people. That the emotional turmoil that young people go through could be affecting the research findings of social media use. Professor Hampton had access to 2015 and 2016 data from thousands of adults who participated in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics which is the world’s largest household survey. Participants would answer a series of questions about their social media use and how it affects their mental health. 

How Do Social Factors Influence Your Mental Health While on Facebook?

Professor Hampton also took into consideration the social factors that influence a person’s mental health such as having a lower socioeconomic status. The study showed that 63% of social media users were less likely to experience mental health issues like anxiety and depression than those not using the sites. Professor Hampton believes that it is because social media made it easier to stay in touch with extended family members and get access to health information.

The participants also talked in the survey how often they use social media on a five-point scale of “every day,” “a few times a week,” “once a week,” “less than a week,” or “never.” Respondents would also speak of their mental health, such as their symptoms of psychological distress, on the same five-point scale as before. The results showed that people who had less education, family income, not married, or residential instability were more likely to experience higher levels of psychological distress, showing that a person’s circumstances were affecting their mental health rather than the social media itself. Specific groups were also affected like women, black or African-American people, and Hispanic people. This study shows that social media use on mental health depends on the socioeconomic factors of a person and that adults can benefit more from social media to further their communications.

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