Everyone knows that Facebook is bad for you. Unless it’s not? New research from Michigan State University says that adults spending time regularly on social media could actually give you a mental boost in well-being and make you happier.
While Facebook has been blamed for spreading misinformation, influencing elections, and encouraging negative feelings like FOMO (fear of missing out), the study says that using social media often can prevent anxiety and depression – in adults. Previous studies that have shown the negative effects of social media use have been on adolescents or college students.
For the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 13,000 adults. They asked about their use of the internet for means of communication and their anxiety, among othere things.
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They found that adult social media users are 63% less likely to have mental health issues, like depression or anxiety.
The connectedness of social media makes a difference, said study co-author Keith Hampton, a professor at MSU, in a release. Any way people can maintain contact with their family or loved ones is a good thing, and social media facilitates that.
“Today, we have these ongoing, little bits of information popping up on our cell phones and Facebook feeds, and that ongoing contact might matter for things like mental health.”