Scientists said if the social network for health

Mark Zuckerberg chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc. attends the Viva Tech start-up and technology gathering at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles

It's always been talked about that social media increases depression and anxiety, but the first causal study in an effort to prove this theory was released by the University of Pennsylvania.

Limiting the use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat directly leads to reductions in loneliness and depression, according to a recent study published by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

The students were split into two groups: one that continued to use social media as normal and another that was limited to using each social service to 10 minutes per day.

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.

According to scientists, the study shows that the reduction in the use of social networking to an hour a day can positively affect health.

"It is a little ironic that reducing your use of social media actually makes you feel less lonely..."

Their study was based on a sample of 196 Facebook users, with an average age of 31, who completed an online survey consisting of a range of psychometric tools to assess their mental capabilities and behavioural style. "These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study", Hunt said in a press release. With those data in hand, Hunt then looked at seven outcome measures including fear of missing out, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

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A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found a causal link between time spent on social media and loneliness or depression.

The study's authors acknowledge its limitations, including the fact that it only monitored social media usage on cell phones, its participants were all young college students and it was relatively short in duration.

However, Hunt said the findings do not suggest that 18- to 22-year-olds should stop using social media altogether.

"Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there's an enormous amount of social comparison that happens".

However, those who struggled with FOMO were the exception; they did tend to spend more time using social media.

"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.

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