Social media not causing depression, new study claims
Recent stories about social media marketing platforms like Facebook and Twitter causing depression and anxiety may be unfounded, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin.
In the past, everything from low self-esteem to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and even divorce has been blamed on the impact of social media in society.
But this new research titled Facebook Depression? Social Networking Site Use and Depression in Older Adolescents, and published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health (July 9), seems to have found evidence to the contrary.
"People have looked at things like jealousy, and more transient moods or whatnot, but we really looked at clinical depression … there was no relation between the amount of time [participants] were on Facebook and their symptoms of depression." Lauren Jelenchick from the University's School of Medicine and Public Health and lead author of the study told The Huffington Post in an interview published July 10.
Nearly 200 students participated in the study, with an average age of about 19. Most claimed to use social media between zero and two hours per day, while 16.8 per cent reported social media use greater than that.
Afterwards the students were asked to fill out a questionnaire aimed at identifying depression, with the results indicating that the administering of counselling for 'Facebook Depression' may be premature.
"Our findings are similar to those from studies of other communication applications, such as email and chat, which also found no association with depression," Ms Jelenchick added.
While the results are still too inconclusive to draw a definite conclusion, the news will still be seen as positive for businesses who may have been concerned about the effect their social media strategy campaigns were having on youth.
Nonetheless, it remains important to keep a healthy balance in your life and remember that not everything revolves around social media.
Posted by Zak Wash