If you need a pick-me-up, turn off your social media for a week.
That’s the takeaway from a study by the University of Bath, in the U.K. Its researchers found that detoxing from Instagram, TikTok et al — even for a week — “significantly” improved test subjects’ well-being, and reduced their depression.
The researchers said most social media users spend as many as nine hours a week on their favorite platforms, and other studies have well-documented the side-effects this cause on people, particularly children.
The study took 154 social media users between the ages of 18 and 72, and had them split into two groups: one using social media, and the other who tried to avoid using it for a week. Even though the non-users couldn’t resist checking in, for an average of three minutes a day, it still represented a major drop-off from their usual habit.
Afterwards, both groups were tested as to their mental health, and those who curtailed their swiping and scrolling saw “dramatic” improvements in their well-being, regardless of their age.
The scientists are now looking to expand their study to include more participants.
In a university release, Dr. Jeff Lambert noted, “Scrolling social media is so ubiquitous that many of us do it almost without thinking from the moment we wake up to when we close our eyes at night.”
He added, “Many of our participants reported positive effects from being off social media with improved mood and less anxiety overall. This suggests that even just a small break can have an impact.”