How social media affects one’s mental health
Social media has certainly had its share of red-flag research in recent years. Studies have shown it to be linked to a number of negative outcomes, including depression, jealousy, low self-esteem and even thoughts of suicide.
As the popularity of the internet grew, depression and mood disorders among its users have steadily risen, becoming the most lethal affliction to young people in the developed world. Research on social media use has concluded over and over again that as social media use rises, so does the number of cases of depression and mood disorders. The correlation is clear, however the unanswered question remains: Why?
A new study in the journal Depression and Anxiety also finds social media to be linked to depression, but only the “negative” experiences on it.
Also a UK study carried out by the Royal Society for Public Health tested the psychological impact of social media use on 1,500 adolescents and concluded that almost every major social media platform had a negative impact on the subjects’ psychological wellbeing, ranging from anxiety to self-esteem. The research is clear; cases of depression have been on the rise right alongside the growth of social media, and the more social media an individual engages with, the higher their chance of having mood disorders.
Researchers determined that those who displayed signs of depression were more likely to have the following similar social media habits:
- They use social media to compare themselvesto others they feel are “better off” than themselves
- They regularly use social media to the point of ‘addiction’(this was determined through a quiz, in which they answered ‘yes’ to the following statements: “you have tried to cut down on the use of social media without success”; “you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies”)
- They feel jealous when they see the picture of others.
The reason people with depression were less likely to post photos of themselves with others, the study authors believe, is because those with depression often tend to isolate themselves from others.
You are unique in your own way. Use social media wisely…