Increased social media use leads to increased feelings of depression

Zack Smith							Bruce Bennett  Getty Images

Zack Smith Bruce Bennett Getty Images

On average, according to the calculations, it was found that teenagers spend 6-7 hours in front of a screen per day.

And rates have only risen in recent years. "We know that numerous personality traits associated with substance abuse could also be associated with depression and therefore these adolescents are likely to have a higher risk of mental health problems than the general population of adolescents".

Now, a teenager dies by suicide about every 100 minutes.

But for exactly that reason, it's important for modifiable risk factors to be monitored and harnessed for this at-risk age group.

Thus, the more time adolescents spend on social media and in front of the television, the more severe their symptoms of depression become.

But research has struggled to prove this causation.

Too much social media might be too much for the mental well-being of teenagers, new research suggests.

"Taking into account the upward social comparison, it might be that repeated exposure to idealized images on social media and television decreases self-esteem", they wrote.

The study included almost 4,000 Canadian teens who were followed between ages 12 and 16.

Colombian caught in Spain with cocaine under toupee
The UK tops the list, followed by the Netherlands, Denmark, France and Ireland, according to the UK's Guardian . Pictures are worth at least a thousand words so we'll just leave this here.

Additionally, while the study distinguished between various types of screen time, more research is needed to distinguish between various platforms or genres within those types, such as Snapchat versus Instagram for social media, or sitcoms versus reality shows for television viewing.

In an analysis comparing the within-person and between-person link of depression and social media, the authors also detected a significant interaction, which may indicate that social media use acts as a "reinforcing spiral", or that teens with depression seek out media that has more depressive content, the authors reported.

The researchers found that high levels of computer use over four years were associated with increased depression, but any further increase in use in that same year was not associated with increased severity of depression.

The researchers found that high levels of social media use over four years was associated with increased depression - and each one-hour increase in the average time students said they spent on social media was associated with an increase in the severity of depression symptoms within that same year.

Of all the forms of digital media, spending an above-average amount of time on social media was found to be the most harmful. She is also a University of Montreal professor of psychiatry.

Increased use of social media linked to growth in teenage depression as it shows off "perfect lives" of those with more wealthy lifestyles, research suggests. Students who rated their depression a 4 were experiencing extreme symptoms while those at zero weren't feeling any depression at all when watching TV or persuing social media.

"If one is being exposed to the same content over and over and over again, that spiral or loop maintains itself", said Boers.

But, she noted that their findings also point to a preventive opportunity. This is highly encouraging from a prevention perspective, she added.

"Early identification of vulnerability to depression gives clinicians and parents a large window of time in which to intervene", Conrod said. "Furthermore, heavier users of social media with depression appear to be more negatively affected by their time spent on social media, potentially by the nature of information that they select".

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