If you’re an avid user of WhatsApp like most of us, and if you’re busy ticking away at your phone all day; then you need to read on. Your love for the digital app may actually prove to be beneficial for you. Researchers have now found that spending time on digital platforms like WhatsApp, is good for our well-being. A recent study was conducted and published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies which concluded that WhatsApp has a positive impact on psychological health.
The text-based messaging app, which offers a range of features including group chat functions, has a positive impact on psychological health. According to the research results, the more time people spend on the messaging app per day, the less lonely they felt. Further, they also benefitted from 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’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 of good quality,” Linda Kaye, Professor at Edge Hill University said. She added further that, “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.”
With group chats, the group affiliation means that WhatsApp users were less lonely. WhatsApp is a great way of staying close to all your friends and is a favourable for aspects for our well-being. As part of the study, the research team selected 200 users; of which 158 were women and 42 men with an average of 24. It found that the average reported daily use of WhatsApp was around 55 minutes, with the most common reason for its use being its popularity and group chat function.
“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 reflects to physical well-being.” And lastly, “It 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,” Kaye said.