Over six months, excessive use of social media has been linked to the development of new depression.
Social Media Use Linked to Depression, Study Finds
Recent research has confirmed that social media use is a significant factor in the development of depression. A study published in the online edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on December 10th supports this claim.
Social Media Addiction: A Widespread Phenomenon
It has become increasingly common for individuals to instinctively reach for their phones and check social media, even if only for a minute. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have become so ingrained in our daily lives that it is almost second nature to engage with them.
The Prevalence of Social Media Profiles
Approximately 77% of people in the United States have at least one social media profile. This means that it is rare to encounter someone who does not have any presence on these platforms.
Research Findings on Social Media and Depression
Dr. Brain A. Primack, an MD, Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and his colleagues conducted a study to investigate the effects of social media on the human brain. The research team analyzed data from 990 participants aged 18-30 years, representing a cross-section of the general U.S. population.
The study revealed that 9.6% of the participants developed depression during the six-month observation period. Through adjusted analysis, the researchers identified a significant linear association between baseline social media use and the development of depression across all levels of usage. Participants with the highest baseline social media use had a significantly greater likelihood of developing depression compared to those with the lowest baseline social media use.
The Link Between Social Media and Depression
Many people wonder whether social media directly causes depression. Based on available research, it is evident that social media does contribute to the development of depression.
One reason for this association is that social media prompts individuals to constantly evaluate their social standing. When logging onto these platforms, users are presented with curated content that often leads them to question how they measure up against others. This constant comparison can occur numerous times throughout the day, depending on the frequency of social media use. Additionally, the fear of missing out (FOMO) further prevents individuals from distancing themselves from social media, exacerbating the negative impact on mental health.
In conclusion, the research supports the notion that social media use plays a significant role in the development of depression. The constant social comparisons and fear of missing out experienced through excessive social media use contribute to mental health issues, particularly depression.