In a recently published study in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, researchers have claimed that WhatsApp is beneficial to our psychological well-being.
During the course of the research, Dr Linda Kaye, a senior lecturer in Psychology found that the group chat function of the app can have positive effects on mental health. Moreover, the researchers found that those who spend more time per day on the app, tend to be less lonely and have higher self-esteem.
Out of 200 participants of the research, 158 were women and 41 were men with an average age of 24. The result showed that the average reported use of WhatsApp was about 55 minutes and majority of the people were using the group chat feature.
Kay noted, "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. 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.”
"Group affiliation also meant that WhatsApp users were less lonely. It seems that using WhatsApp to connect with our close friends is favorable for aspects of our well-being. Specifically, the findings show how including factors relating to social bonding capital is highly pertinent within this field as a way of understanding how technology usage relates to psychosocial well-being.”
The latest findings are certainly interesting as effects of social media usage have been well documented over last couple of years. With the participants showing positive impact, researchers might need to reconsider their approach to the future studies to understand the role of technology on our mental and physical health.