Use of multiple social media platforms linked to depression, anxiety

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health (CRMTH) have found that excessive social media use often correlates with an increased risk of depression or anxiety.

In a survey of nearly 1,800 adults between the ages of 19 and 32, researchers found that participants who used between seven and 11 social media platforms had substantially higher odds of having increased levels of both depression and anxiety symptoms compared to those that used anywhere from zero to two social media platforms.

Such was the case even after adjusting for other factors that could contribute to depression or anxiety such as education, gender, household income, race, relationship status and total time spent on social media.

Pinpointing a key association between social media and the illnesses, however, isn’t all that easy.

Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., director of CRMTH and lead author on the paper, said it could be that people who suffer from symptoms of depression and / or anxiety and use a broad range of social media outlets may be searching out multiple avenues or a setting that feels comfortable and accepting. Then again, it could simply be that the amount of work required to maintain a presence on so many platforms is the culprit.

The fact that an individual feels compelled to maintain upwards of a dozen non-work related social media accounts seems telling on its own but hey, what do I know?

Ultimately, Primack said more research will be needed to obtain a better understanding of the matter.

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Bigtruckseries

TS Evangelist
For all the women who aren't in a happy marriage, aren't married, have no children, can't have children...

And for all the men who have no woman, don't have a cool car, can't legally buy an AR-15...

Facebook is destroying your mind while Zuckerberg swims through his money like Scrooge McDuck...
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Lack of face to face communications; poor interactive skills; and the isolation form of social behavior can't help but create problems. In an earlier war this kind of sensory deprivation (even as limited as it seems) was a very effective means of breaking down the human will and sense of well being. Have we created the perfect form of self destruction?
 

Rippleman

TS Evangelist
Is it one direction? What about vise versa? Perhaps people WITH depression/anxiety are simply drawn to social media as an outlet?
 

m4a4

TS Evangelist
Well, I'm sure that mainly seeing the best sides of people/situations on social media doesn't help.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
For all the women who aren't in a happy marriage, aren't married, have no children, can't have children...

And for all the men who have no woman, don't have a cool car, can't legally buy an AR-15...

Facebook is destroying your mind while Zuckerberg swims through his money like Scrooge McDuck...
You should stick to that utub channel of yours. At least there, your fantasy world is intact.
 

RzmmDX

TS Guru
Hold the phone.

What would it mean if I have none of those, but peruse tech blogs, forums and random wikia sites?
 

MarkHughes

TS Maniac
Is it one direction? What about vise versa? Perhaps people WITH depression/anxiety are simply drawn to social media as an outlet?
I have had depression my whole life so I will add my 2p worth :), I actually noticed that social media was making things worse and I removed myself from almost all of it, My life has been much improved since. In my case at least, I was not drawn to it. In fact when things are bad the last thing I want to do is talk to people.

I have found that forums such as this that have a targeted topic are much better, People who are suffering from mental health problems should maybe look towards forums that can/do cater for them specifically as that might be more helpful.

I'm no expert but I feel like it's the lack of focus on social media that puts a great deal of pressure on people. Especially if you are struggling with a mental health issue. There is this unspoken pressure to perform in all areas of life and one can soon find they rely on the validation of others to feel successful.
 

URUKHAI

TS Rookie
Why would someone feel the need to have 7-11 social media accounts that they actively use?That factor alone would seem to be more indicative of possible social anxiety or depression issues.

On the other hand, how would one know if they are winning if they don't incessantly check to see if they have the most social media friends, likes, tweets, pins, etc? I kid.
 

Rippleman

TS Evangelist
I have had depression my whole life so I will add my 2p worth :), I actually noticed that social media was making things worse and I removed myself from almost all of it, My life has been much improved since. In my case at least, I was not drawn to it. In fact when things are bad the last thing I want to do is talk to people.

I have found that forums such as this that have a targeted topic are much better, People who are suffering from mental health problems should maybe look towards forums that can/do cater for them specifically as that might be more helpful.

I'm no expert but I feel like it's the lack of focus on social media that puts a great deal of pressure on people. Especially if you are struggling with a mental health issue. There is this unspoken pressure to perform in all areas of life and one can soon find they rely on the validation of others to feel successful.
I do not suffer from depression (and hopefully never will) but can tell you to that sometimes even Facebook (the only social media I have) makes me feel frustrated as heck. Different then depression I know, but what makes me frustrated is all the false facts and agenda-driven flawed opinions. I have many times wanted to delete it do to NOT wanting to know what a freind or family member "really" feels. When someone posts something drastically insane, you feel like you have kind of lost a freind since maybe that post, you see perhaps that they support a deplorable position. Most of the time, I feel, friendships are based on what you DON'T know about the person lol. It has been a lot better now that I have un-followed a lot of people.

Thank you too for your insight on the topic.
 

tipstir

TS Ambassador
Facebook I run many groups more than I do with Google Plus. I don't have the time to run everything. LOL Facebook has more women on there I have 1.5K Women in one group that is all about food. It seems women like what I prepare. Even have Windows Tablet Zone group there small but I am there on FB. Trying to cover what I've come up with for fixes for Windows 10 Login "disappearing act with Welcome". So I say social groups help.
 

Memphis

TS Rookie
I think to the the 24/7 drama of social media is hard on people and may be part of the link. Pre social media, you would here about drama with friends coworkers etc then you would go home, and not have it in your face constantly. Today's children and people on social media don't have that distance/buffer of being able to step away from the drama etc. Smart phone dings, computer pops up, tablet etc, they are never away from the constant updates of arguments, drama, political arguments etc. Just a thought
 

Phr3d

TS Guru
In related news, some users experience joy and elation when they are able to Cause depression among others on 7-11 Social Media sites -- film at 11
 

commanderasus

TS Addict
Survey says - "We need more money to waste on useless research and write even more boring papers so we can get more money to do the same thing next year."