Can Internet Use Positively Help Mental Health? Read New Study Revelation

In a recent study co-authored by Oxford professor Andrew Pryzyblyski, internet usage has been linked to better mental well-being and health. The research had been conducted over the course of 15 years in 168 countries.

Shreya Mariam Vimal
New Update
Image Source : Getty Images (Mayur Kakade)

(Image Source : Getty Images /Mayur Kakade)

A recent study discovered that using the internet and technology is associated with improved well-being and mental health. A recent study co-authored by Professor Andrew Pryzyblyski of Oxford University found a robust correlation between technological availability and mental well-being. According to the study, earlier studies on this topic were geographically constrained and primarily focused on specific demographics, making them inherently inaccurate. The research was published in the journal Technology, Mind, and Behaviour.


The Research 

The research was conducted in over 168 countries and included interviews with almost 2.4 million individuals over the course of 15 years, from 2006 to 2021. The study gathered a wide variety of data about mental well-being. It utilised over 33,000 statistical methods to assess the effectiveness of the hypothesis, looking into different measures such as income, relationships, and health. 

In terms of results, more than 84% of those polled indicated a favourable association between their internet usage, while only 0.4% indicated a negative correlation and 14% indicated no statistical correlation. In addition, the survey discovered that people who used the internet had 8.5% better life satisfaction than others.  A closer analysis, however, reveals that among individuals aged 15 to 24, women who have recently used the Internet tend to report lower levels of satisfaction with their living environment. However, the study was unable to determine a cause-and-effect relationship. 

Professor Andrew Pryzyblyski reported that earlier studies that were done on the subject were focused only on individuals from Europe and North America, severely limiting the scope of the study. This goes to show how euro-centric ways of approaching research could often backfire and give wildly inaccurate hypotheses. The professor also stated that relying on anecdotal evidence while approaching the effect technology can have on us could be misleading. 

"I anticipate that this work will be, in some ways, seen in contrast to the current social conversation around tech. " Professor Andrew told the BBC. " If we're going to make the world a safe place for young people, we can't go in with guns blazing with a one-size-fits-all solution."   

The new study would certainly shift the conversation around technology and our relationship with it. 

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