Amidst the popular belief that too much screen time is detrimental to our health and well-being, a study published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, says otherwise.
The study ‘Psychosocial Outcomes Associated with Engagement with Online Chat Systems’ states that people who spend more time on WhatsApp daily are less lonely and have higher self-esteem. The reason being that they feel closer to their friends and family.
“There’s lots of debate about whether spending time on social media is bad for our well-being, but we’ve found it might not be as bad as we think. The more time people spent on WhatsApp, the more this related to them feeling close to their friends and family and they perceived these relationships to be of good quality,” said Linda Kaye, Professor at Edge Hill University.
“As well as this, the more closely bonded these friendships were and the more people felt affiliated with their WhatsApp groups, the more this was related positively to their self-esteem and social competence,” Kaye said.
“The findings show how including factors relating to social bonding capital is highly pertinent within this field as a way of understanding how technology usage relates to psychosocial well-being. It gives rise to the notion that social technology such as WhatsApp may stimulate existing relationships and opportunities for communication, thereby enhancing aspects of the users’ positive well-being,” Kaye said.