"I think in a lot of cases, young women who post to social media are hoping to get positive reinforcement for what they're posting and the way in which women use social media is more appearance-based than it is for men".
The research comes from UPenn psychologist Melissa G. Hunt and a research team.
The study, titled "No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression", claims to be the first to have found a direct correlation between the use of social media and its impact over time, especially with respect to loneliness and depression.
The findings? "Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness".
Recent problems, like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the spread of fake news in Myanmar contributing to genocide and increasing problems across Facebook-owned WhatsApp have eclipsed the more personal problems that have afflicted social media users because of practices created to get people hooked on social networks.
'In our study, passive following on Facebook was common among participants, ' said Dr. Hussein.
Throughout the study, researchers also collected objective usage data automatically tracked by iPhones for active apps, not those running the background. The first group was asked to continue use of social media and the second group was asked to use Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram only for 10 minutes per day.
For the next three weeks, participants shared iPhone battery screenshots to give the researchers weekly tallies for each individual.
After three weeks, the researchers evaluated the participants across seven measures, among them being loneliness, depression, anxiety, and FOMO. A new and exciting way to stay in touch with our loved ones and check out all the gossip going on in our social circles.
The authors wrote: "It is ironic, but perhaps not surprising, that reducing social media, which promised to help us connect with others, actually helps people feel less lonely and depressed".
"When you look at other people's lives, particularly on Instagram, it's easy to conclude that everyone else's life is cooler or better than yours", she explained. They are also most likely to use social media. Depression and addiction are rife across social networks and a couple of recent studies have highlighted problems relating to time spent on social media and Facebook.