You use Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram daily, but which is best for your mental health?
We've been told that an iPhone addiction is bad for our health and is ruining our downtime, but not all apps are equally guilty. In fact, some really do make us happier. And Snapchat takes the cake over any other social media, according to a new study published in Information, Communication, & Society. But, as multiple sites have pointed out, it's not because of sexting hook-ups! (More evidence to lessen your guilt: Social Media Actually Lowers Stress for Women.)
The study, which is one of the first to analyze social media platforms and their affect on our daily moods, analyzed 154 college students with smartphones. The participants’ well-being was assessed based on texts—and how positive their interactions and moods were—sent at random times throughout the day over the course of two weeks. (Find out: How Bad are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for Your Mental Health?)
The University of Michigan researchers found that when participants interacted with Snapchat, they were happier with the interaction and scored more of a mood boost after those 10 seconds than when using other communication technologies like Facebook. What's more, most people actually paid more attention when looking at Snapchat messages. In fact, the students compared Snapchat to face-to-face interactions (perhaps since they aren't recorded for posterity), and overall viewed the app not as a platform for sharing or viewing photos but as a means of sharing spontaneous experiences with trusted ties. (Plus, who doesn't find joy in discovering a new location filter?)
The summary? Social media research is becoming more complicated than ever, but it's definitely not all bad. Feel free to keep snapping!