Does a Social Media Abstinence Really Reduce Stress? A Research-in-Progress Study Using Salivary Biomarkers
There is much scientific evidence in recent years indicating that our ‘always on’ culture powered by platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp, is leading to negative health outcomes, particularly stress. To mitigate social media induced stress, people are being advised to abstain from using social media for a period of time. However, the effectiveness of such breaks is open to question. As many people are heavily dependent on social media, the inability to access these platforms for a period of time could actually create stress and anxiety. To determine if and how social media abstinence relates to stress, this project will investigate the role of passion as a mediating variable. Stress will be measured using a combination of the salivary biomarkers cortisol and alpha amylase, with psychological scales. Ultimately, this study aims to determine the boundary conditions under which an abstinence from social media use will either increase or decrease stress levels in working professionals.
KeywordsSocial media Stress Abstinence Cortisol Alpha amylase
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