Science and Health

Should you make quitting social media a New Year's resolution?

Research suggests that some social media use is better than none at all. But that doesn't mean you should use it continuously.

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There is no question that many Americans spend a lot of time on social media. Perhaps for some, they want to make it a goal to get off social media in the new year. 

But there is evidence suggesting it would be better to have some social media usage than none. 

Earlier this year, researchers at Iowa State University released findings that indicate that 30 minutes of daily social media use could help reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness and fear of missing out. The researchers studied college students for two weeks, having some completely eliminate social media use. 

While those who used social media for 30 minutes a day did better emotionally than those who did not use it all, those benefits started to wane when users consumed social media for longer periods. 

Social media firms made billions advertising to minors
Social media firms made billions advertising to minors

Social media firms made billions advertising to minors

Researchers say the findings show the need to impose more regulation on platforms that aren't regulating themselves to protect minors.

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Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Susan Albers suggests limiting social media use by turning off automatic notifications. 

“Social media is a double-edged sword; it can make you feel very connected to the world around you and at the exact same time make you feel very disconnected from yourself," she said. 

Albers added that limiting social media use is a good New Year's resolution for the entire family as it encourages them to spend more time together. 

“The No. 1 benefit of reducing your social media time is being more present. It helps you to be more fully engaged and improve the quality of your relationships. It allows you to be more authentic in your day-to-day life and experience things directly instead of through a camera lens," Albers said.