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Social Media May Be Messing With Your Perception of Time

Have you ever spiraled so deep into a Facebook debate or Instagram feed that you suddenly find yourself, an hour later, wondering where the time has gone? It’s an unsettling feeling that can leave social media users existentially questioning how they make use of their leisure time. If it’s happened to you, you’re not alone. A new study shows that people addicted to social media may have a distorted sense of time.

Psychologists have just begun to explore the ways in which our addiction to technology negatively impacts our society and our health, hurts our social skills and weakens our democracy, not to mention its impact on our eyesight and attention spans. But a distorted sense of time, as presented in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, is a new one.

Researchers tested nearly 300 university students, who were given a half hour to complete a survey. During that time, they were prevented from using social media. The individuals who reported spending more time using social media per day said the survey and their short-term separation from Facebook felt longer. Those who use social media less said the survey and social media hiatus felt short. Creepy, no?

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