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According to this study, using the Internet is good for your health

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This study, issued by the American Psychological Association and relayed on May 12 by the journal Nature, spanned over 16 years, involving 2.4 million people. The latter, through its results, has therefore managed to largely challenge current concerns regarding the impact of digital technology on our mental health. If we are already beginning to understand the extent of the damage that short formats such as TikTok can cause on addictive behavior and socialization, here the results are very different.

What positive effects has this study revealed and how these manifest themselves in our daily lives ?

A global perspective enabled by very diversified data

Fully grasp the influence of & #8217;Internet on well-being requires a global analysis, because it’s a technology now deeply anchored in our habits. The survey in question, published in the journal Technology, Mind and Behavior, was carried out from 2006 to 2021 by analyzing data from the’ 8217; Gallup polling institute. These are 1,000 people per year spread across 168 different countries who were interviewed during this long period.

The sample is, therefore, much more representative than that of studies previously carried out on the same theme, which were often limited to some developed countries in the northern hemisphere. As Andrew Przybylski, a researcher at the University of Oxford, points out: “More than 90% of the datasets came from a few English-speaking countries ”. A distribution which necessarily induced bias and altered the final results.

By analyzing factors such as income level, employment, education level and health problems, the researchers were able to draw a more complete and nuanced picture of the impact of the Internet on our lives.

Benefits comparable to a walk in nature

One of the most striking results of the study lies in the observation that people with access to the Internet display , on average, life satisfaction and social well-being scores 8% higher than those who are deprived. Pryzbylski even compares these results to the benefits of a walk in nature.

Markus Appel, psychologist at the University of Würzburg, attributes these positive effects to the Internet's propensity to promote learning and the creation of social or friendly bonds. However, the situation is not entirely rosy. The study did not neglect the potential negative aspects of the use of this technology.

Indeed, it emerges also that young women aged 15 to 24 using the Internet say they are less satisfied with where they live. According to Pryzbylski, this observation could be explained by the fact that those who feel less integrated into their community spend more time online. Ideally, further research should be carried out to determine whether these links are causal or simply correlative in nature.

An observation to be qualified

As debates on the regulation of the web and social networks, particularly concerning the youngest, intensify, this study provides an important perspective, < strong>but which should not be considered definitive. Tobias Dienlin, researcher at the University of Vienna, would like to point out that “ this study cannot contribute directly to the recent debate on the harmfulness of social networks or the&# 8217;ban on smartphones at school “.

This data, although very valuable, is not sufficiently specific or detailed to directly answer the complex questions relating to these themes. In reality, this study was not carried out to fuel this debate, and demonstrates that the effects of Internet use on well-being tend to vary considerably depending on the uses.

It is for this reason that the different authors of the ;study recommends a nuanced approach to the question: the benefits of the Internet are not universal and can differ depending on multiple contextual factors. This study, quite unique in the size of the sample of respondents, is a robust base which could certainly serve as a pillar for more in-depth research. Moral: you can continue to hang out on the web, it's not inherently bad for your health, but be aware that it's not either a miracle drug !

  • A study published in the journal Technology, Mind and Behavior conducted among 2.4 million people from 2006 to 2021 proved that using the Internet had a positive effect on well-being.< /li>
  • On average, respondents had 8% higher life satisfaction and social well-being scores than people without Internet access.
  • This research proves, on the other hand, that these beneficial effects are not universal and vary greatly depending on many factors.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116