Abstinence from social media use, subjective well-being, stress, and loneliness

Zahir Vally, Caroline G. D'Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Studies with experimental designs in which the association between participants’ subjective well-being and their use of social media is studied remain rare. This study tested the effect of abstaining from social media use on participants’ well-being, affect, perceived stress, and sense of perceived loneliness. Design and Methods: Randomized, controlled design. Sixty-eight participants were randomized to one of two conditions. Findings: Those who abstained from social media use, compared with those in the control group, evidenced a decline in life satisfaction, an increase in negative affect, and an increase in loneliness. Practice Implications: Excessive social media use poses deleterious consequences for users, but abstinence may not necessarily exact positive changes; this outcome is dependent on the functions for which social media are used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-759
Number of pages8
JournalPerspectives in Psychiatric Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


  • abstain
  • loneliness
  • quit
  • social media
  • stress
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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