Link Between Social Media and Depression

Many studies claim that there is a close link between social media and depression.Those people who use social networks too much are exposed to different content that can generate or aggravate the symptoms of depression.

It is estimated that a little more than 4 billion people around the world use social networks such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook every day. This led mental health experts to investigate the link between social media and depression.

Researchers suggest that those who limit their time on social media are happier than those who are addicted. Many studies claim that social networks are capable of triggering a wide variety of very negative emotions that worsen your situation and symptoms of depression. There are benefits and drawbacks to networking, with depression being a serious problem that many people don’t realize.

What is depression?

Clinical depression or major depressive disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by different constant feelings. The sadness and the little desire to enjoy activities that the person once enjoyed. Keep in mind that depression can be something mild or very serious; preventing a person suffering from this condition from being able to concentrate, sleep, eat, make decisions or take actions that complicate their daily routine.

In extreme situations, people with depression may think about taking their own life, feel useless, have too much anxiety; even suffer physical symptoms such as fatigue or constant headaches. It can be treated with psychotherapy and certain medications. But limit time on social media and prioritize human contact; perform activities in the real world; share with friends and family, can be very beneficial in fighting depression.

Link Between Social Media and Depression

We must consider that social networks have never been as popular as they are today, with more than half of the population connected to them posting everything. It has been confirmed, thanks to the Lancet study published in 2018, that the majority of people check their social media accounts until late at night and that it is very likely that they are the ones who feel the most depressed and unhappy.

Another study conducted in 2018 concluded that the less time spent on a social network, the less symptoms of depression and loneliness they feel. In 2015, a study found that Facebook users felt more envy while on the app, which triggers symptoms of depression.

Is it a coincidence or correlation?

There are many studies that affirm that there is a correlation between networks and depression. A lot of research has been done on this, and most come to the same conclusion: the less social media is used, the less depressed and lonely people feel.

This makes clear a relationship between less use of social networks and emotional well-being. Several researchers said the study marked the first time that scientific research had been able to establish a causal link between these variables.

In order to establish a link between social media and depression, the researchers asked 143 students at the University of Pennsylvania into two groups: one group could use social media in any way they wanted, while the second group could only use it. use 30 minutes for three weeks.

Each student used an iPhone, and the researchers monitored data from their devices to ensure student engagement in the research. The group with restricted access to social networks showed a lower tendency to depression and loneliness than at the beginning of the study.

Both groups reported a decrease in anxiety and fear of missing out (FOMO), apparently because joining the study made even the unlimited network group pay more attention to the amount of time they spent in their day daily on social media.

Less social networks, less FOMO

We’re not sure why those who only spent half an hour a day on social media experienced less depression. However, the main suggestion is that these young people were not as exposed to watching content such as vacations of their friends, acquisition of material goods, acceptance letters from graduate school, happiness among friends, etc. Things that would make them feel bad about themselves.

Obviously, posts by people who give the impression that they have perfect lives can make certain people on the networks feel inferior, that their lives are not what they imagined.

Social networks are also capable of generating users a specific case of FOMO. For example, if you have been invited to a friend’s vacation, but were unable to attend for some reason. Or if the friend did not ask them anything about the trip, this person may feel hurt and exclusive to see that other people in their social circle were able to do it, which leads them to question their own self-esteem and life in general.

Even those who are exposed to content related to an ex-partner, perhaps drinking at a bar or with a new love interest, can experience FOMO. They may think why I get over it too quickly, maybe why I never do that activity with us, etc.

Finally, limiting the time on social networks can prevent us from being exposed to situations where we would compare ourselves with others. What you can do to avoid developing symptoms that contribute to depression.

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