Internet Can Boost Mental Health As Much As A Walk In Nature, Finds Study

A study revealed that people who have access to the internet had better mental well-being than those who don't. The impact of having access to internet was similar to that of taking a walk in nature. The study was conducted for over 15 years from 2006 to 2021 and included more than 2.4 million people from 168 countries.
Internet Can Boost Mental Health As Much As A Walk In Nature

Internet Can Boost Mental Health As Much As A Walk In Nature

A recent study found that people who have access to the internet had better mental well-being than those who lack access to the internet. The study also revealed that the former ones had scored 8% higher. The impact of having access to internet was similar to that of taking a walk in nature. For the study, the researchers took eight factors into consideration; life satisfaction, daily negative and positive experiences, two measures of social well-being, physical well-being, community well-being and experiences of purpose.
Then, they used several multiverse analyses to understand how these measures differed between individuals who had access to and used the internet regularly and those who didn’t. The study was conducted for over 15 years from 2006 to 2021 and included more than 2.4 million people from 168 countries.
Andrew Przybylski, one of the study’s authors during a press briefing said, “While the Internet is global, the study of it is not. More than 90% of data sets come from a handful of English-speaking countries” that are mostly in the global north.”
A report in CNET said that the study doesn’t provide specific answers about why going online could make us happier, however, other research reveals that the internet can be a source of social support and community for people living with physical disabilities, create a sense of belonging among adolescents and spur a reduction in depression among older adults.
While the study says that the internet can make one happy, there are certain exceptions. The study has found that among women between the ages of 15 and 24 years, there was a negative association between internet use and reports of community well-being. The study found that this is “consistent with previous reports of increased cyberbullying and more negative associations between social media use and depressive symptoms among young women.”
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also says that 57% of teen girls reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless in 2021.

Tips To Make The Internet Safe And Healthy Safe

Privacy Settings

Adjust your privacy settings on social media to control who can see your posts and personal information. Only share with trusted friends and family. This helps to keep away negativity and boost mental health.

Report Abuse

Use the report option that is available on different platforms to report abusive behaviour or harmful content.

Take Breaks

Spend time offline to recharge. Too much screen time can increase stress and anxiety.

Digital Detox

Make sure that you regularly spend time away from digital devices. Engage in offline activities to maintain a healthy balance.

Personal Information

Avoid sharing sensitive details online. This reduces the risk of harassment and identity theft.

Be Mindful of Content

Limit exposure to negative or harmful content. Follow accounts that promote positivity and unfollow or block those that don’t.

Supportive Communities

You can also join online groups that are supportive and understanding. Positive communities can provide you with help.

Positive Interaction

Be kind and supportive during your online interactions. Positive communication can help to build a healthy online environment.
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