New Study Finds Link Between Twitter (AKA X) and Bad Mental Health

The notion that using social media is bad for your mental health is something that a lot of people tend to believe in, but studies are showing that it’s not just an assumption. One such study that was recently published in Communications Psychology revealed some specifics about the manner in which Twitter can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing.

Using real time data, this study indicated that using Twitter can stoke outrage, increase political divides, and make you more bored than might have been the case otherwise. The thing that sets this study apart from the ones that came before is that it didn’t just rely on public data with all things having been considered and taken into account. Instead, it used real time data to paint a more accurate picture of the impact that it can have on someone’s psychology.

252 Twitter users who went on the platform at least twice a week were enlisted. This made the data representative of a much wider swathe of the platforms overall user base. Test participants filled out surveys that were sent to them at five points throughout the day between 9 am and 10 pm. This showed their real time reactions to whatever they saw on the site.

The survey required participants to outline each and every thing that they did on the site, and their well being was gauged on a scale. Participants would define how their various Twitter activities made them feel, and these activities were subsequently categorized because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making the data easier to sort through.

Whenever test participants used Twitter, their sense of wellbeing decreased. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that they also reported increased feelings of social isolation and loneliness, and they also felt bored. While Twitter did have a positive impact on their sense of belonging, the negative effects are hard to ignore. It will be interesting to see if further studies end up confirming the findings from this study.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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