Is Facebook causing Depression?


Spending too much time on “Social Networking” websites Facebook is making people more than simply unhappy.

A new study of Pennsylvania has revealed – for the first time – a causal connection between time spent on social media and melancholy and isolation, the investigators stated.

It reasoned that people who cut back their use of sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat often watched a marked improvement in the way they felt about their own lives and their mood.

“It was striking,” says Melissa Hunt, psychology Professor.

“What we found over the course of three weeks was that rates of depression and loneliness went down for people who limited their use.”

Many of those who started the analysis with melancholy completed a few weeks later with symptoms that were very mild. For the analysis, her team and Hunt analyzed 143 undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania over a number of months.

They analyzed their disposition and feel of scales were established by different groups. Half the participants carried on using Social Networking sites as normal. The other half have been restricted to ten minutes per day for Each of the three sites Instagram Facebook and Snapchat, the most well-known sites for the age group.

Net result: People who cut back on media use saw “Clinically significant” falls in depression and in isolation over the course of the study.  The so-called “Control” group, who did not change their behavior, saw no improvement.

Past studies have mainly shown there is a correlation, and the investigators allege that this shows a”Causal Connection.”  It’s possible – even likely – that lonely and depressed folks used social media because they’re looking for social connections, says Hunt.

The study suggests Snapchat, Instagram and that Facebook aren’t only popular with the lonely: They’re also making people depressed, and lonely.

Why does Facebook and other social media make people sad? The two explanations are offered by Hunt, although this wasn’t analyzed by study. The first is “Downward Social Comparison” you see your buddies’ timelines. The result:”You’re more likely to think your life Stinks in contrast,” says Hunt.

Social media sites have become such an integral part of the World that them can’t cut out altogether, Hunt says. That is why the analysis focused on cutting back. It’s significant that restricting use to ten minutes per site per day helped those with melancholy.

You don’t have to give it up altogether to feel much better. The caveat is the fact that the analysis was restricted to undergraduates. Whether groups that are older affect the study, who may be less susceptible to stress, is another matter for another day.

Within an increasingly polarized and heated climate, for example, Twitter may be making Americans mad and miserable – or Angry Americans use Twitter.


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