Although the association between large amounts of time spent in social media and depression has been long thought to be a fact, a new study has proven the otherwise myth to be truthful. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh claim that excessive amounts of time spent in social media could be increasingly harmful to people.
The National Institute of Health or NIH funded the research in order to determine the link between depression and social media use. The study suggests that those people who spend much time on the computer going trough Facebook, or any other social media app are 2.7 times more likely to suffer from depression.
The research paper released by the University of Pittsburgh on March 22 was published on the journal Depression and Anxiety. The study was led by Lui yi Lin from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and was intended to determine to link between heavy social media users and depression symptoms.
The study was based on a survey made to almost 1,800 American volunteers aged 19 up to 32 on their social media usage, along with a way to assess the depression state of the volunteers.
It’s worth mentioning that the study from the University of Pittsburgh was also based on the usage of the most common social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and more.
The myth is not only truth but also quite shocking
The results after the surveys shocked researchers as they demonstrated that heavy social media users almost tripled the risk of depression in comparison with those users who didn’t check in the social media so often.
The survey asked participants in the study about the most popular social media platforms currently used as well as how much time they spent daily on social media apps. Most participants said they spent an average of 21 minutes a day while they visited social media accounts over 30 times per week. The report claims that the more time young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.
This study could lead researchers to determine effective ways to treat depression in people who frequently checks in any social media as it has been proven to negatively affect people’s behavior.
According to the study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, the findings could be used as a basis for public health interventions leveraging social media. This would improve the way those websites affect the human mind after frequently looking at social media platforms by introducing preventive measures against depression.