Social media has become the go-to place not just for the younger generation, but also for most adults that happened to catch the bug. And for good reason. Social media platforms are specifically designed to be addictive, so that as many people as possible spend as much time as possible on them. According to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh, social media use linked to sleep disturbances.
- Facebook is responsible for 23% of all internet traffic in the world
- 28 billion people are active on Facebook in any given month, compared to Twitter’s 320 million
- 41% of all millionaires use LinkedIn consistently
- Instagram gathered as much as 1 million users in a little over 2 months
- Pinterest makes 400% more money per click than Twitter and 27% more than Facebook
In one of the first studies of its kind, a team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health looked at how intense social media use affects a person’s sleep.
As it turns out, as high a number as 30% of people that experienced sleep disturbances were very active social media users during the night time.
The team, led by lead author Dr. Jessica Levenon, talked to over 1,700 United States citizens aged 19 to 32 about their sleep patterns and their social media use.
Questions referred to the use such social media platforms as Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
The researchers looked at the average time spent on social media per day, as well as at per week. 61 minutes is the average time spent on social media in a day, with an account being accessed 30 times a week.
According to the study, those participants that were active on the social media platform of their choosing at night had three times as high a chance to have troubles sleeping.
Meanwhile, those that were excessively active on social media during the day has twice the chances of sleep disturbances.
Despite the novelty and accurate results of the study, it still poses a singular, yet very significant problem – it is observational.
This means that despite the fact that a link was found between the two, no actual cause-effect relationship can be established.
So, in theory, there might be a totally different reason that causes both extensive social media use and trouble sleeping, or the opposite of the premise might be valid – that sleep disturbances lead to excessive social media use.
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