While social media connects and reconnects us with people from our entire lives whom may live thousands of miles away now but a 2015 study by UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) presented by Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/us) actually revealed that heavy social media users are three times more likely to suffer from depression. They conducted research with 19-32 year olds and tested it with 11 different social media sites. They found that those who checked their social media more than 30 times per week and spent over an hour a day on social media were 2.7 times for likely to suffer from depression.
It is important to note, which I also find interesting from a testing study that they call this a cross sectional study and doesn’t address cause and effect. This essentially means which came first the chicken or the egg? Were these people already naturally more depressed and got on social media or did they get more depressed and develop “Facebook Depression” thinking that their lives are not nearly as exciting as those presented on social media.
Could this become a spinning vortex of being depressed and getting on social media to connect which only makes the person more depressed as they feel their own personal life doesn’t measure up?
In many instances social media can help combat depression especially for those homebound. I also know many people who are not really on social media and all of them that i know who are not on it seem to be very happy and well adjusted. I believe we will see many more tests along this line coming in the future.
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Lewis, Kayleigh (2016) Heavy Social Media Users Trapped in Endless Cycle of Depression retrieved 11/29/16 from http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/social-media-depression-facebook-twitter-health-young-study-a6948401.html
UPMC (2016) Social Media Use Linked to Depression Among U.S. Young Adults retrieved 11/29/16 from http://www.upmc.com/media/NewsReleases/2016/Pages/lin-primack-sm-depression.aspx