Social media sites: Using multiple platforms can cause depression

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According to a study the more social media sites you use the more chances you have to get depressed

Social media sites

Source: http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-07-14/boost-social-media-skills-with-online-courses

Through the years we read many reports about social media sites and depression. Of course there are some studies that show that social media platforms can make us happy, but in the survey conducted by the the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health (CRMTH) the results are disheartening.

The research showed that compared with the total time spent on social media, use of more than one social media platforms is more connected with depression and anxiety among young adults. The survey was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior and revealed that people who use 7 to 11 social media sites have more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety.

Lead author and physician Brian A. Primack said about the findings:

“This association is strong enough that clinicians could consider asking their patients with depression and anxiety about multiple platform use and counseling them that this use may be related to their symptoms,”

“While we can’t tell from this study whether depressed and anxious people seek out multiple platforms or whether something about using multiple platforms can lead to depression and anxiety, in either case the results are potentially valuable.”

The survey analyzed data from 1,787 U.S. adults, ages 19 through 32, using an depression assessment tool and questions to find out how many social media sites they used.

The questions asked about the most famous social media platforms at the time of the survey: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.

What they found out is that people who used 7 to 11 platforms had 3.1 times the chance to show higher levels of depressive symptoms than their counterparts who used up to two sites. Of course researchers also measured other factors that could cause depression and anxiety,such as including race, gender, relationship status, income, education and the time they spent on social media.

Also, Primack stated:

“It may be that people who suffer from symptoms of depression or anxiety, or both, tend to subsequently use a broader range of social media outlets. For example, they may be searching out multiple avenues for a setting that feels comfortable and accepting,”
“However, it could also be that trying to maintain a presence on multiple platforms may actually lead to depression and anxiety. More research will be needed to tease that apart.”

In addition, co-author of the survey and psychiatrist César G. Escobar-Viera said:

“Understanding the way people are using multiple social media platforms and their experiences within those platforms — as well as the specific type of depression and anxiety that social media users experience — are critical next steps,” “Ultimately, we want this research to help in designing and implementing educational public health interventions that are as personalized as possible.”


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Author: Martha Papadimitriou

Martha is a journalist, a blog writer, a mother and a bookworm. She studied Journalism and Communication and graduated in 2002. She has a restless spirit and loves to learn new things. Martha also wants to make the world a better place, and when she is not working she enjoys reading and cooking.

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