why you need to take a break

Too much social media is bad for mental health. From study to study, the results say more or less the same thing: excessive use of social networks is linked to increased signs of anxiety, depression, difficulty in making decisions… It would even be a suicide risk factor. But what happens when you take a break, even for just a few days?

This is what British researchers from the University of Bath wanted to know. They therefore recruited 154 adults aged 18 to 72, users of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Everyone spends about 8 hours a week on the networks. Their levels of well-being, anxiety and depression were measured using questionnaires and reference scales, then the participants were divided into two groups.

Lasting change?

In the control group, participants were allowed to continue their usual activities on the networks for one week. In the other, they had to abstain. Then their levels of well-being, anxiety and depression were measured and compared. Unsurprisingly, participants who took a break saw a marked improvement in their scores.

“We know that the use of social media is enormous and that there are growing concerns about its effects on mental health,” comments Dr Jeff Lambert, senior researcher from the Department of Health at the University of Bath. “So we wanted to see if simply asking people to take a week off could have any beneficial effects on their mental health. This suggests that even a small break can have an impact. »

The researcher also received many emails from participants during the study, in which they mentioned their intention to evolve in their relationship to social networks. Would a one-week break be sufficient to generate long-term behavior change? This will undoubtedly be the subject of a future study…

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