Using WhatsApp might actually be good for your health
A new study in the UK has found that despite concerns over the amount of time spent on social media, using the text-based messaging app WhatsApp could be good for your health.
The research was carried out at Edge Hill University, looking at 200 male and female WhatsApp users with an average age of 24. The study asked participants to complete an online questionnaire measuring their use, reasons for using the app, online bonding and quality of relationships.
The findings – which were published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, showed that on average people spent 55-minutes per day on the messaging app. Researchers found that the number of minutes per day spent on WhatsApp was positively related to the quality of your relationships.
Indeed, the more time participants spent messaging friends and family on WhatsApp, the higher their self-esteem – as a result of online bonding with friends and family.
"There's lots of debate about whether spending time on social media is bad for our well-being, but we've found it might not be as bad as we think," says co-author Dr Linda Kaye.
"The more time people spent on WhatsApp, the more this related to them feeling close to their friends and family and they perceived these relationships to be good quality."
"As well as this, the more closely bonded these friendships were, and the more people felt affiliated with their WhatsApp groups, the more this was related positively to their self-esteem and social competence."
"Group affiliation also meant that WhatsApp users were less lonely. It seems that using WhatsApp to connect with our close friends is favourable for aspects of our well-being."