Social Media 'Addiction' and Depression in Young Adults

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Negative and addictive behaviors on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are associated with an increased risk for major depressive disorder, according to results of a survey conducted at Texas State University in San Marcos and published in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research.

The online survey of more than 500 college students revealed that young people who fit the criteria for major depression scored substantially higher on a rating scale for social media addiction — 18.5 for those who reported depression symptoms compared to 15.3 for those without symptoms. Young people who had depression symptoms also reported comparing themselves to others more often on social media — not only those who appeared better off than them, but also those who appeared worse off.

Results of the survey are in line with previous research suggesting that negative behaviors on social media are more common in young people who live with depression and positive behaviors are more common in people who aren’t depressed. To ease psychological distress, the Texas State researchers recommend limiting social media time, unfollowing people or groups that trigger unhappiness, and avoiding comparisons on social media.

Sourced from: Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research