Social media, as its name suggests, lets people be “social” on the internet where you can share your life with your friends and family members even if you’re living thousands of miles away. However social media seems to have had a very different effect, where friends and families can go out with each other, but yet bury their noses in their phones.

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Now according to a report from the University of Pennsylvania, they have conducted a study which has found that spending less time on social media could potentially reduce feelings of loneliness. According to the study they have confirmed a “causal link between time spent on [Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat] and decreased well-being.”

Team leader Melissa G. Hunt adds, “Here’s the bottom line. Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study. Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there’s an enormous amount of social comparison that happens. When you look at other people’s lives, particularly on Instagram, it’s easy to conclude that everyone else’s life is cooler or better than yours.”

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t spend time on social media, but if you find yourself using it way too much, then perhaps consider weaning yourself off it or limiting it. Companies such as Apple and Google have introduced features to their operating systems which try to make users aware of how much time they spend on social media platforms, and also to put restrictions in place.

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