+
upworthy
Health

Neuroscientist reveals perfect amount of time to spend on social media for your mental health

Over several weeks, the participants felt less loneliness, depression and anxiety.

neuroscience, social media, mental health
@rachelle_summers/TikTok

Anyone can use this checklist.

There are pretty clear cut guidelines on how much screen time kids should have, but for adults…not so much. And perhaps it’s this lack of clarity that leaves people to go on full blown digital detoxes or get off social media entirely.

And while there is certainly a case to be made for that decision, for many of us, that isn’t quite feasible—especially in certain lines of work.

Luckily, according to neuroscientist Rachelle Summers, there is a way we can still be on social media, without being subjected to its negative side effects.

In a video posted to her TikTok and Instagram, Summers first cited a study which found that limiting social media use to 30 minutes per day lead to a "significant improvement in well-being” among participants.

Over several weeks, the participants felt less loneliness, depression, anxiety and FOMO—common symptoms of social media overuse.

Of course, 30 minutes might seem like an extremely short amount of time to be on social media (never mind if you’re actually posting something). In fact, according to one polling website, average person spends a little over 2 hours each day on social media, which is also drastically low in comparison to some of the comments to Summer’s video.

“Yikes. I’ve been doing 30 minutes every half an hour,” one person wrote.

Another added, “I’m on Instagram around 25 hours a week. Guess that’s a critical amount.”

Summers did however add that the study only measured the effects of limiting social media to 30 minutes, and noted that similar benefits could be found at a little more usage time.

So then, what if we want to spend more than a measly 30 minutes and still see benefits? Summers proposes going through this checklist of questions:

-Establish your baseline. How much time are you currently spending on social media?

-Are you sleeping poorly?

-How’s your attention span?Are you finding it difficult to concentrate on a task?

-How is your Mood? Are you experiencing any anxiety or depression?

-Are you noticing physical discomfort like eye strain or headaches?

-What does your engagement look like? Are you mostly looking at content that puts you in a negative headspace?

-Have you stopped or reduced how much time you’re investing in offline relationships and/or hobbies?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, Summers suggests going back to your original baseline and reducing social media consumption by 20% . Then check again in two weeks and continue reducing by 20% until you’ve only got one yes. Or, better yet, zero.

I don't know about you, but I answered yes to nearly all of these…along with tons of viewers.

“Brain fog is so frustrating and uncomfortable,” one person wrote.

“I spend a lot of time on subreddits that are laden with rage bait,” admitted another.

We all know we need to limit our social media use. But we don’t necessarily have a way of measuring how much we need to cut back. And while a weeklong vacation to a spot with zero internet service might be ideal, some real world, everyday tools can be just as helpful. And perhaps even more sustainable.

And while you’re using that daily allowance of social media, be sure to follow Summers on TikTok and Instagram for more cool tips.

A pitbull stares at the window, looking for the mailman.


Dogs are naturally driven by a sense of purpose and a need for belonging, which are all part of their instinctual pack behavior. When a dog has a job to do, it taps into its needs for structure, purpose, and the feeling of contributing to its pack, which in a domestic setting translates to its human family.

But let’s be honest: In a traditional domestic setting, dogs have fewer chores they can do as they would on a farm or as part of a rescue unit. A doggy mom in Vancouver Island, Canada had fun with her dog’s purposeful uselessness by sharing the 5 “chores” her pitbull-Lab mix does around the house.

Keep ReadingShow less

A group of men look at paperwork.

The massive changes to the American workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic invited many to reconsider their professional lives. This reevaluation has led people to push for improved work-life balance, and many now are looking for work to provide a greater sense of meaning and purpose.

When the world returned to work after COVID, many believed they deserved to be treated better by their employers. This resulted in many taking a break from the workforce or changing professions altogether. It also helped usher in a more comfortable culture for calling out companies that don’t treat their employees respectfully.

Recently, a group of thousands came together on Reddit to expose the common mistruths that people often hear at the workplace. It all started when a Redditor named PretenstoKnow asked: "What's the most common lie employers tell their employees?" And over 2,600 people responded.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom calls out teacher who gave her son a 'zero' grade for not providing class with supplies

Her viral video sparked a debate as to whether or not providing school supplies should be mandatory for parents.

@shanittanicole/TikTok

A zero grade for not providing school supplies?

The debate as to whether or not parents should supply classroom supplies is not new. But as prices continue to rise, parents are growing more baffled as to how they can be expected by teachers to provide all the various glue sticks, colored pencils, rulers and other various items the incoming students might need.

What’s even more perplexing, however, is penalizing the children of parents who won’t (or can’t) provide them.

This was the case for Shanitta Nicole, who discovered her son received a zero grade in his new school for not bringing school supplies for the entire classroom.
Keep ReadingShow less
Photo Credit: William Fortunado via Canva

Amanda Seals breaks down history of DAP handshake

We've all seen people do it. Anywhere from basketball players on television to kids meeting up at the skating rink. Even former president Barack Obama when greeting a mixed group of men gave "DAP" to the Black men in the group, yet switched to a firm handshake when greeting the other men.

It was almost like watching the president code switch, but with body language, in a move that many Black Americans recognize as a gesture of acceptance and comradery. But did you know that there's an actual history behind the DAP that has nothing to do with looking cool? Social justice educator and actress, Amanda Seales, recently re-shared a clip from "The Real" where she was diving into the history of the handshake.

Seales, who has a master's degree in African American Studies from Columbia University, was also admittedly surprised when she learned there was a deeper meaning to the gesture.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Kats Weil on Unsplash

Ready for a refreshingly wholesome story?

The stereotypical image we get of bachelor parties is a booze-filled evening of depravity and bad choices. Followed of course by a massive hangover…and some regrets.

And granted, there are plenty of viral videos to show that this is sometimes the case. But there are also plenty of grooms who don’t see it as their “last night as a free man.” On the contrary, they see it as an opportunity to simply celebrate the next chapter with close friends.

Case and point: a husband-to-be named Luke, who apparently couldn’t stop “gushing” about his bride, Sam. This, according to a woman also named Sam, who happened to be at the bar Luke was having his bachelor party at.
Keep ReadingShow less

A woman looking at her phone while sitting on the toilet.


One of the most popular health trends over the last few years has been staying as hydrated as possible, evidenced by the massive popularity of 40-oz Stanely Quencher cups. The theory among those who obsess over hydration is that, when you pee clear, you’ve removed all the waste in your body and are enjoying the incredible benefits of being 100% hydrated. Congratulations.

However, according to Dr. Sermed Mezher, an NHS doctor in the UK, peeing clear isn’t always a sign of being healthy.

Keep ReadingShow less