A recently published study by a prominent American and Chinese university uncovered the negative implications of excessive social media usage during a pandemic. The study was released in Computers in Human Behavior.
According to the research team, their new findings highlight the mental health effects that occurred as a result of social media usage during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak at the alleged area of origin: Wuhan, China.
“This study investigates the possible association between social media usage and the mental health toll from the coronavirus at the peak of Wuhan’s COVID-19 outbreak,” the study’s co-authors wrote in their findings.
The study included 320 participants who resided in the city of Wuhan during the initial outbreak of the recent coronavirus. The participants were given an online survey to assess the sharing of health information along with behavioral patterns of social media sites like WeChat.
“The results show that social media usage was related to both depression and secondary trauma, which also predicted health behavior change,” the co-authors indicated.
Among the participants who engaged in excessive social media usage during the pandemic, they began to display mental health adversities.
“The results imply that taking a social media break may promote well-being during the pandemic, which is crucial to mitigating mental health harm inflicted by the pandemic,” the co-authors concluded in their findings.
The study was authored by Bu Zhong, Yakun Huang, and Qian Liu.