Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Medical | By

Spending Too Much Time on Social Media May Increase Risk of Depression

Spending Too Much Time on Social Media May Increase Risk of Depression

It's always been talked about that social media increases depression and anxiety, but the first causal study in an effort to prove this theory was released by the University of Pennsylvania.

However, it should be noted that, first, the study was conducted with a rather small sample, and, secondly, researchers evaluated the use of social networks, only according from a smartphone (measured consumption of battery power in the relevant annexes), use of social networks on the computer, they had to trust the participants themselves.

Participants were randomly assigned to a control group, which had users maintain their typical social-media behavior, or an experimental group that limited time on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram to 10 minutes per platform per day. The study notes that while researchers were able to monitor the use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat on mobile phones of the students, they could still use the platforms on their desktop (except for Snapchat) or on phones of their friends, which could not be monitored. "These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study", Hunt said in a press release. Other studies implied that people who spend time on social media may simply be more likely to be depressed than people who are not.

The participants completed a survey on their mood and well-being at the start of the study.

Researchers with the University of Pennsylvania have found a casual link between social media use, depression, and loneliness. An Oregon Health & Science University Study found that military veterans were said to experience mental health issues 50 percent less if they spent more time around loved ones over those who socialized mostly online.


"Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there's an enormous amount of social comparison that happens", Hunt told Penn Today. Younger Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 have especially high use of a range of social media platforms.

"When you look at other people's lives, particularly on Instagram, it's easy to conclude that everyone else's life is cooler or better than yours", she explained.

Because this particular work only looked at Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, it's not clear whether it applies broadly to other social-media platforms.

"We recognize that social media is an integral part of our daily lives, and it's unreasonable to have them stop using it completely", Young said.

Like this: