According to a study released on the 10th of December, the excessive use of social media is likely to develop depression within six months with young adults, they being more susceptible due to their addictive use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and others. Dr Brian Primack, Dean of the College of Education and Health professions and Professor of Public health at the University of Arkansas, conducted the study.
The study says that young adults who used social media over 300 minutes per day were 2.8 times likely to become depressed than participants who used it for 120 minutes per day. As per the Arkansas University, the study is scheduled for the year 2021 issue of the American Journal of Preventive medicine. According to sources, it is the first extensive national study to reveal the link between depression and social media use over time.
Primack and his colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh sampled more than 1000 US young adults between the age of 18-30 in the year 2018. He says, "We know from other studies that depression and social media use tend to go together but it's been hard to figure out which happens first. The study sheds light on these questions." It adds that high initial social media use led to increased rates of depression.
Primack and his colleagues measured depression using the validated nine-item patient health questionnaire. Further, in the in-depth analysis, they asked participants about the amount of time they used social media platforms Like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit and Instagram. The analysis considered demographic factors including income and employment, sex, race, education and age. The survey was conducted to reflect the greater US population.
According to the World Health Organization, Depression is a common mental health disorder affecting more than 264 million people worldwide. It is reportedly a leading cause of disability around the globe and contributes to the world's burden of disease.
"Social media is curated to emphasize positive portrayals. The findings of the study are particularly important to consider in the period of Covid 19," experts said.