Browsing to Breathe: Social Media for Stress Reduction

AbstractIn a pressurized world, it is important that research continually works towards discovering new ways to improve the mental and physical wellness of society. Traditional approaches for measuring stress have been vastly explored, however rising concerns for chronic stress calls for new methodologies to sense stress on Social Media, which, as a tool, could provide valuable insight into wellness. Over a period of two-weeks, a rigorous mixed methods approach (daily surveys, Social Media data collection and post-study interviews) aided the discovery that Social Media, particularly browsing, can improve the wellness of placement students, as it helped them to cope with stress. The adoption of an established coping survey for stress helped in the identification of behavioral differences between participants. This paper explores the positive impact that Social Media can have on stress and highlights the potential of digital coping mechanisms.

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