October 23, 2018Published by: Drew Benvie

Wellbeing is all about the Goldilocks approach to social media

According to a new report on the effects of social media consumption on wellbeing, too much is bad for us. It is driving an increase in botox, no less. But when it comes to social media consumption, it turns out consuming nothing at all is bad for us too. Can't win, can we?!

Or maybe we can. Hot off the press, it appears that there is a happy medium. Get it just right, and it's happy days.

How much screen time is the right amount? 2 hours per day according to this recently-published research of more than 120,000 UK teenagers by the University of Oxford, which found that moderate social media use is not harmful to mental health. Those who used screens a moderate amount – between one and three hours each day – reported higher well-being compared with those who didn’t use social media at all and those who used it more than three hours a day. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears then. Not too much, not too little, just the right amount.

Here's the lowdown from the Goldilocks report from Oxford Uni.

  • Scientific research demonstrates that there are both positive and negative outcomes of social media use.
  • A dialogue with friends over Facebook Messenger can improve your mood, while comparing your life to other people’s photos on the Newsfeed can do the opposite.
  • By contrast, it has also been found that social media can decrease wellbeing and increases social anxiety.

So as a Libra, I get this, and advocate balance at all times. Don't be glued to your screens, and take everything you see online with a pinch of salt. Check the news, make sure it's not fake. See the photos, videos, Boomerangs, GIFs, Stories and lenses for what they really are. And the bigger picture here is that social media's force for good isn't only in connecting us with our friends more easily.

We can let off steam, complain about the late train, get a refund on a faulty item or a bad meal, because brands are all tuned into social media 24/7 to fix our problems now too,  so that 2 hours a day is perhaps just the tonic. We just need to ensure the lens through which we see the world is metered, filtered, and taken with a pinch and sprinkle of salt bae.

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