Just five minutes on social media can make you miserable

A new study shows that spending less than five minutes on social media may be enough to make you depressed.

People who browse Twitter or watch videos on YouTube find that their mood quickly deteriorates when they find the bad news.

Experts at the University of Essex found that people who saw unpleasant news related to COVID-19 on social media experienced an “immediate and significant” drop in happiness.

Study participants claimed this could happen in just two to four minutes, but if people instead search for posts that highlight acts of empathy, they are less likely to be in a bad mood.

The research team, led by psychologist Dr. Catherine Buchanan, explained: ‘Even a few minutes of exposure to COVID-related news on social media can harm a person’s mood. It is best for all of us to be aware of these consequences and to think about balancing bad browsing with some. Positive browsing.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, questioned about 1,000 people about how they felt after reading or watching news about “Covid-19” on social media.

They found that getting information from Twitter or YouTube was associated with lower positivity and made people feel less optimistic.

These findings held true even when study participants started browsing something different but accidentally ran into negative stories.

The researchers noted: “The study shows that as little as two minutes of exposure to negative news about COVID-19 can have negative consequences. Given that many people spend five to ten times the amount of time interacting with news about COVID-19 every single day. day, this is likely to provide a conservative estimate of the emotional effects.”

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