You only need to cut your social media time by 15 minutes to improve your health

Along with the viral tweets and fan edits of Pedro Pascal, we know that social media comes with a lot of downsides.

Plenty of research shows that it can have a negative effect on your self-esteem and mental health.

But attempting to cut down your time on the likes of TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram can feel like a big ask, given that, for many of us, they’re so entrenched in our daily lives.

Well now, a new study has revealed that you don’t need to implement a total digital detox to reap the rewards.

Research reveals that reducing your time on social media by as little as just 15 minutes a day could improve your health.

The study published in the Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science asked participants (aged between 20 to 25) to reduce their social media usage by 15 minutes a day, for three months.

The outcomes were compared to groups that were not asked to reduce their usage, or explicitly asked to do something else during those 15 minutes.

The results revealed that the group who were asked to reduce their usage had fewer colds, warts, better sleep and were less depressed.

There was a 15% improvement in immune function, a 50% improvement in sleep quality, and 30% fewer depressive symptoms. 

Where as the other groups showed no changes.

Those asked to reduce their usage actually ended up cutting it by 40 minutes – rather than the requested 15 – and the group who were asked not to make any changes, actually used social media more, increasing by 10 minutes.

The group that was specifically asked to do something other than social media also ended up increasing their overall usage, by around 25 minutes a day – which scientist say could indicate that we don’t like to be told how to spend our own time.

Professor Phil Reed, from Swansea University’s School of Psychology, who carried out the research, said: ‘When people reduce their social media use, their lives can improve in many ways – including benefits for their physical health and psychological well-being.’

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