According to the results of a study, giving social media a break for just 1 week could result in significant improvements in anxiety, depression, and wellbeing, and could be recommended as a method for helping to manage mental health in the future.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
The mental health effects of a social media break for 1 week were examined for the study. This entailed freeing up about 9 hours of the week for some of the study participants, which would have otherwise been used for scrolling TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The results indicate that just a 1 week break from social media helped improve the overall level of well-being of the participants, and also reduced anxiety and depression symptoms.
For the study, 154 individuals between the ages of 18 and 72 who made use of social media every day were randomly assigned to either a group where they were requested to stop making use of all social media for 1 week or a group where they carried on scrolling as usual. Baseline depression, anxiety, and well-being scores were taken when the study started.
At the beginning of the study, 8 hours on average were spent on social media each week by the individuals. A week later, the individuals who were requested to take the social media break for 1 week had significant improvements in anxiety, depression, and wellbeing compared to individuals who carried on making use of social media, indicating a short-term benefit.
Individuals who were requested to take the break for 1 week reported making use of social media for 21 minutes on average in comparison to an average of 7 hours for the control group individuals. Screen usage statistics were made available to check that they had stuck to the break.
Many of the individuals experienced positive effects from the social media break with less anxiety and improved mood generally, indicating that even a small social media break can have a beneficial effect.