Sunday, February 25, 2024

How Can Social Media Cause Depression

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Comparing Yourself To Others On Social Media

Can social media use cause depression?

Its in our nature to always compare ourselves to others. And if you dont compare yourself to anyone at least other people will take the initiative to compare you with others which is okay anyway

The problem with comparing yourself to others is you are going compare your behind the scenes with someone elses highlight real.

When someone posts a photo of them wearing their best dress, they will be showered with likes retweets and shares, well as when you post yours you only get 2 likes from your friends.

When you compare yourself to the other person that got over 1000 likes you are going to feel worthless because if you were of value as the person you are comparing yourself to, you wouldnt get only 2 likes

And this when the feeling of worthlessness as a symptom of depression caused by social media comes.

We forget that at times these pictures are posted to seek validation from others so that someone can feel worth of themselves the same reasons you will not feel worth because you did not get a lot of likes

Or when someone posts a picture of them on their wedding and you have never gotten married. You are very much likely to feel like you are not worth even if there is nothing wrong with you but just as result of comparing yourself to others which will make you depressed in the end

The Facts On Social Media And Depression

  • Social media has never been more popular, with more than half of the world’s population active on these networking sites that roll out nonstop news, much of it negative.
  • A Lancet study publbished in 2018 found that people who check Facebook late at night were more likely to feel depressed and unhappy.
  • Another 2018 study found that the less time people spend on social media, the less symptoms of depression and loneliness they felt.
  • A 2015 study found that Facebook users who felt envy while on the networking site were more likely to develop symptoms of depression.

A Deeper Look At Social Media

On the surface Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc., all seem like a great way to maintain connection to others, especially since humans are naturally social beings. However, studies have shown that there is a link between the amount of time spent on social media and risk for depression.

To determine if there is a causal relationship between social media use and depression, studies measured mood before and after periods of time when individuals were engaged with social media platforms. Measures for anxiety, depression, and loneliness were gathered and found that less social media use was correlated to less loneliness and fewer symptoms of depression.

How can it be that platforms designed to bring and keep people together actually harm the mental health of those people? No study has yet to find a specific cause, but the link has been more than proven to exist.

As research continues, it is advised to limit social media use and to make real in-person connections as often as possible. As likeable and popular as social media is, it has a negative and unfriendly effect on your well-being.

If you think of it in a similar way as sugar in your diet, it can help you get a grasp of the usefulness of moderation.

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Social Media And Perceived Isolation

Another study last year of a national sample of young adults showed correlation between the time spent on social media and perceived social isolation . The authors noted that directionality cant be determined. That is, Do people feeling socially isolated spend more time on social media, or do more intense users develop PSI?

If its the latter, they noted, Is it because the individual is spending less time on more authentic social experiences that would decrease PSI? Or is it the nature of observing highly curated social feeds that they make you feel more excluded?

Which brings us what we now call FOMO, or fear of missing out.

Jerry Bubrick, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, observes that FOMO is really the fear of not being connected to our social world, and that need to feel connected sometimes trumps whatevers going on in the actual situation were in. The more we use social media, the less we think about being present in the moment.

Instead we might be occupied with worrying why we werent invited to a party were seeing on Instagram, or making sure we dont miss a single post from a friend. But if were always playing catch-up to endless online updates, were prioritizing social interactions that arent as emotionally rewarding and can actually make us feel more isolated.

Mixed Results And Nonpredictors

Social Media causes Depression?

The frequency of SNS use as a whole suggested no clear association with depression and anxiety. Longitudinal research suggests that depression and anxiety remain stable in the context of how frequently a user engages with SNSs and the function of use holds clearer associations with depression and anxiety . This is consistent with the literature examining general Internet use where total frequency of use is often not a predictor of depression, particularly when examining the social features of the Internet . For example, when examining different functions on the Internet, Morgan and Cotten showed that more hours spent using the Internet for social activities are associated with decreased levels of depression and that informational uses and gaming are associated with increases in depression.

While total SNS use may not affect psychopathology, it may be related to subjective well-being. This was illustrated in the study by Kross et al , in which more frequent SNS use was related to experiencing more negative affect and reducing life satisfaction. As frequent experience of negative affect may contribute to the onset and maintenance of depression, it is likely that a pathway to poorer mental health outcomes exists via the impact SNS use has on the frequency of experiencing positive and negative emotions . Additionally, other SNS features and cognitive processes may be more informative in describing the impact frequent SNS use has on mental health.

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Why Is Social Media Damaging My Mental Health

Social media apps are strategically developed by trained psychologists who know how the human brain works. They know what will make you hop on those apps every day and continue to scroll for hours. Every time you get a little notification of a like, a comment, or a follow, it triggers dopamine or pleasure chemicals in your brain kind of like how drugs work to get you hooked. The reason they design them this way is because the more time you spend on these platforms, the more ads you see. The more ads you see, the more money they make.

TikTok is a newer video-based app that has exploded over the last couple of years. The creators of TikTok developed a pretty genius algorithm. The algorithm picks up on things you like based on what you watch and how long you view a video to determine what to show you next. Once they know what youre into, the app shows you videos based on all the stuff youre interested in, keeping you fully engaged in the content, video after video. Suddenly youve spent 3 hours watching TikTok without even realizing it. If you dont want to get sucked into the black hole that is scrolling not only on TikTok but any social platform simply do not scroll.

Teens And Young Adults May Be More Susceptible To Harmful Messages About Body Image

One study, published in September 2016 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, showed that, among nearly 1,800 randomly selected young adults between the ages of 19 to 32, the risk of having eating concerns increased with higher volume and frequency of social media use.

In a study published in May 2020 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers found that among nearly 2,500 undergraduate college students, posting edited photos was consistently and directly associated with risk factors for eating disorders.

People may be comparing themselves to the edited photos they see on social media and perceive their appearance to be inferior, says Wind, who was not affiliated with either study. Social media users may also feel that they have to painstakingly edit their photos to get more attention on social media. That can cause a disconnect between their social media persona and what users really feel about themselves, he says

If teens and young adults are editing images of themselves because theyre worried, embarrassed, or ashamed of who they are or what they look like, that can certainly have negative mental health implications, adds Harris.

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The Social Media Dilemma: What Parents Can Do

The first thing most parents need to do is accept they may be wrong about social media and screen time. While the instinct is to label them in broad strokes as frivolous wastes of time with negative social, psychological, and emotional consequences, thats neither backed up by reliable data nor productive for the parent-teen relationship.

Here are eight things the Common Sense report recommends for parents and caregivers:

1. Communicate

Talk to teens about what attracts them to certain platforms and sites. Ask them where they feel safe and supported online, and where they feel unsafe. Ask them how the people they follow make them feel.

2. Identify

Work with teens to understand when social media or online interactions cause stress or created problems offline with friends, family, or peers at school.

3. Reserve Judgment

Despite any instinct to demonize social media, understand that very little evidence exists to support the idea that social media has a negative impact on grade, mental health, or overall wellbeing.

4. Monitor Offline Mental Health

Adolescence is the time when the initial symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety may first appear. Problems offline and online often mirror one another: teens with preexisting depression especially girls age 10-14 may be vulnerable to negative effects of social media.

5. See the Good

7. Monitor Teens With Depression

8. Be Prepared: They May Want Early Access

How Depressed People Behave On Social Media

Could social media cause depression in children?

Though a link has been established between social media and depression, the causal direction of the relationship hasnt. Meaning, researchers dont know if heavy consumption of social content leads some users to become depressed or if depressed people tend to consume a lot of social content, or if the relationship is bi-directional. To that end, the following are social media behaviors reported by people who met the criteria for major depressive disorder in one study of 500 college students at Texas State University.10

  • Individuals with MDD were significantly more likely to focus both on others they deemed better than me and on others they deemed worse than me.
  • People with MDD were significantly more likely to comment on positive posts, and marginally more likely to like or react to others posts.
  • There were no differences between those with and without MDD in the amount of posting under the influence of alcohol. But there was a significantly greater frequency of posting while smoking marijuana among people with MDD and a marginally higher likelihood of people with MDD posting while high.
  • Individuals with MDD had significantly fewer followers on Instagram and were following fewer accounts on Twitter.
  • Individuals with MDD were less likely to post photos of themselves with others.
  • A greater proportion of those with MDD indicated they used social media to share memes/gifs and because someone contacted them via social media.
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    Other Causes Of Unhealthy Social Media Use

    A fear of missing out can keep you returning to social media over and over again. Even though there are very few things that cant wait or need an immediate response, FOMO will have you believing otherwise. Perhaps youre worried that youll be left out of the conversation at school or work if you miss the latest news or gossip on social media? Or maybe you feel that your relationships will suffer if you dont immediately like, share, or respond to other peoples posts? Or you could be worried youll miss out on an invitation or that other people are having a better time than you.

    Many of us use social media as a security blanket. Whenever were in a social situation and feel anxious, awkward, or lonely, we turn to our phones and log on to social media. Of course, interacting with social media only denies you the face-to-face interaction that can help to ease anxiety.

    Your heavy social media use could be masking other underlying problems, such as stress, depression, or boredom. If you spend more time on social media when youre feeling down, lonely, or bored, you may be using it as a way to distract yourself from unpleasant feelings or self-soothe your moods. While it can be difficult at first, allowing yourself to feel can open you up to finding healthier ways to manage your moods.

    The vicious cycle of unhealthy social media use

    Excessive social media use can create a negative, self-perpetuating cycle:

    Ways How Social Media Causes Depression And What You Can Do About It

    Social media today is one of the top cause of depression and a couple of other mental illness like anxiety disorders due to its increased usage by a lot of people especially teens whereby the majority of them own smartphones which they use for social networking

    Despite all the good things and advantages of social media, leading to mental illness is one of the bad sides and major disadvantages of social media

    When was the last time you checked any of your friends Facebook or Instagram account and they posted something bad happening in their lives?

    For some reasons its always the good things happening in their lives that are posted. Its always the success that someone achieves that ends up on social media accounts

    And when things go wrong no one ever posts that as people deal with difficulties privately without posting it on any social media accounts.

    And even when someone posts something bad happening in their lives, the attention some people receive is different from what others receive and if you compare that to your own self, you are very much likely to feel bad

    This article at looks at how social media is impacting our minds mentally leading depression plus also showing how social media is linked to depression and what you can do about it.

    It would be absurd to talk about metal illness with clarifying on what it actually is as most people misuse the terms

    Some of the symptoms of depression include

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    Does Social Media Use Increase Depressive Symptoms A Reverse Causation Perspective

    • 1Singapore Management University, Singapore, Singapore
    • 2Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore

    According to the World Health Organization , 264 million individuals worldwide suffer from depressiona condition characterized by feelings of low self-worth, impaired concentration, and disturbed sleep, among various other maladaptive symptoms . Adolescents between 13 and 18 years of age are also vulnerable , with a 52% increase in the prevalence of depression among adolescents from 2005 to 2017 . Depression is tied to many serious problems including failure to complete education, higher unplanned parenthood rates, poorer interpersonal relations, and heightened risk of substance abuse and suicidality .

    However, there are good reasons to suspect that these conclusions are premature or incorrect. For instance, the haste to pass social media a guilty verdict might stem from moral panic brought about by the fear of contemporary technology , where the third-person effect in which individuals overattribute certain behaviors to the influence of mass communication is a possible catalyst. Having such a convenient culprit for depression seriously oversimplifies our understanding of the etiology surrounding social media and depression .

    Using Lots Of Social Media Sites Raises Depression Risk

    Can Social Media cause Depression? Is Social Media ...

    A national survey by Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health found that use of multiple social media platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults than the total amount of time they spend on social media.

    The analysis, published online and scheduled for the April print issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior, showed that people who report using seven to 11 social media platforms had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than their peers who use no more than two platforms, even after adjusting for the total time spent on social media overall.

    This association is strong enough that clinicians could consider asking their patients with depression and anxiety about multiple platform use and counseling them that this use may be related to their symptoms, said lead author Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, assistant vice chancellor for health and society in Pitts Schools of the Health Sciences and the center’s director. While we cant tell from this study whether depressed and anxious people seek out multiple platforms or whether something about using multiple platforms can lead to depression and anxiety, in either case the results are potentially valuable.

    Primack, who also is a professor of medicine at Pitt, emphasized that the directionality of the association is unclear.

    Primack and his team propose several hypotheses as to why multi-platform social media use may drive depression and anxiety:

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    How Do I Cut Back On My Social Media Usage

    Our clinical director, Lana, conducted a little experiment where she deleted all the social media apps from her phone for a week. She even took the extra step of downloading a website blocking app on her computer. A simple Google search will reveal a variety of blocking apps if youd like to do the same. The program she used for her PC is called Cold Turkey. Lana said, I found that at the end of the week, I was much less distracted and in better spirits.

    Not prepared to log off and delete just yet? Try changing some settings around to gain some control over what you see. This may not help with the constant scrolling problem, but it might at least help your mental health. Unfollow people that make you feel icky. Maybe theres a person you compare yourself to and they make you feel bad about where you are in life. Maybe theres someone who is always trying to sell you stuff . Maybe theres a racist uncle that makes you angry every time he posts. Unfollow, unfollow, unfriend. Peace of mind is just one click away.

    Another way to take a step back from social is to disable notifications from social media sites. If youre not getting a notification every time someone likes your posts, you wont be tempted to constantly check it. Still cant deal with that temptation? Try turning off your phone during parts of the day when you dont need to receive calls or texts.

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