Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Heavy Social Media Users ‘Trapped in Endless Cycle of Depression’

Published on March 27, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

The more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to become depressed, a study has found.

Of the 19 to 32-year-olds who took part in the research, those who checked social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those who checked least often.

The 1,787 US participants used social media for an average 61 minutes every day, visiting accounts 30 times per week. Of them a quarter were found to have high indicators of depression.

Dr Brian Primack, the director of Pitt’s Centre for Research on Media, Technology and Health, led the study, and told The Independent: “It is important to explain that, because this was a cross-sectional study, directionality is not clear from these results.

“One strong possibility is that people who are already having depressive symptoms start to use social media more, perhaps because they do not feel the energy or drive to engage in as many direct social relationships.”


However, he said there are several reasons why increased social media could lead to more depressive thoughts. One example he cited was a phenomenon which is sometimes referred to as “Facebook depression”.

“People who engage in a lot of social media use may feel they are not living up to the idealised portraits of life that other people tend to present in their profiles.

“As with many things in the social sciences, it may also be that both of these directions are accurate.


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