People who think that spending time on social media is wastage of time need to know the benefits it offers to its users. A recent study has found that social media especially WhatsApp is good for our wellbeing.
The study was published in the 'International Journal of Human-Computer Studies'.
Dr Linda Kaye, a senior lecturer in Psychology found that the text-based messaging app, which offers users group chat feature, has a positive impact on psychological wellbeing.
The research found that the more time people spent on WhatsApp per day, the less lonely they were and the had higher self-esteem as a result of feeling closer to friends and family.
"There's lots of debate about whether spending time on social media is bad for our well-being but we have found it might not be as bad as we think," said Dr Kaye.
"The more time people spent on WhatsApp, the more they feel close to their friends and family and perceived these relationships to be of good quality. The more closely bonded these friendships were the more people felt affiliated with their WhatsApp groups, which was related to positive self-esteem and social competence," added Dr Kaye.
"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," said Dr Kaye.
The research of 200 users, 158 women and 41 men with an average age of 24, found that the average reported daily use of WhatsApp was around 55 minutes, with people using it because of its popularity and group chat feature.
"This research contributes to the ongoing debates in this area and provides specific evidence of the role of social factors, along with social support motivations for using communication technology," said Dr Kaye.
"The study gives rise to the notion that social technology such as WhatsApp may stimulate existing relationships and opportunities for communication, thereby enhancing aspects of the users' positive well-being," said Dr Kaye.