Medicine

Study finds causal link between social media use, depression

Study finds causal link between social media use, depression

Researchers did not completely cut off usage of social media for users as it would not have been realistic to do so. Participants were then randomly assigned to a control group, which had users maintain their typical social-media behavior, or an experimental group that limited time on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram to 10 minutes per platform per day.

The findings? "Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness". Researchers have now studied that there is a way that you can use Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to actually make your life better. Scientists have found that due to overuse of social networks and feelings of loneliness in humans increases dramatically.

Most of us can't think of going a day without social media.

It's always been talked about that social media increases depression and anxiety, but the first causal study in an effort to prove this theory was released by the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, she built the study to preclude what she considers an unrealistic goal.

However, the research, like any other, has its own limitations. The study notes that while researchers were able to monitor the use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat on mobile phones of the students, they could still use the platforms on their desktop (except for Snapchat) or on phones of their friends, which could not be monitored.

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All of the participants were UPenn undergraduates (108 women and 35 men) enrolled in psychology courses.

After completion of the experiment, the psychologists prepared a special questionnaire for students with seven indicators: social support, fear to fall out of the environment, loneliness, anxiety, depression, self-esteem and self-acceptance. The first volunteers were paid to social networks as much time as before. They stated that it would reduce the chances of depression and feelings of loneliness within a person. They also state that it would not make people feel less wanted or less socially accepted.

According to those who conducted the research, users could have used social media more than the allotted time on their desktops- times which would not have been accounted for in the study. Younger Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 have especially high use of a range of social media platforms.

It seems that even Facebook itself is aware that continuously using social media might not be a good thing.