Researchers study association of social media and subsequent depressive symptoms

The relationship between social media and mental health has been the subject of a lot of debate.
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 8:06 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The relationship between social media and mental health has been a subject of debate and has gained significant attention from researchers over time.

A group of researchers conducted a year long study looking at the correlation between social media use and symptoms of depression among 5,400 adults.

The results of the study found symptoms of depression actually worsened among some of the participants through the use of three widely used and popular social media sites: Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok.

University of Louisville Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Taylor said for social media users to remember that not everything on the internet is as authentic as it looks. He said that no one has a perfect life, and that everyone has their own issues and struggles.

In regards to the whether social media directly causes depression, Taylor said it is unclear which is the chicken and which is the egg because some people may already suffer from depression, and social media only intensifies depressive symptoms and vise versa.

”Just from a psychoanalytic view, the inability for us to act in person in real interactions hurts us psychologically,” Taylor said. “It does cause us to be more anxious or depressed to have more psychological stress or drama cause we are built to work that way while the virtual interaction, it does give us something, it’s not a substitute.”

The ideal solution to prevent the decline of mental health would be to log off. However, some people may have to use social media for work or other reasons.

If so, Taylor suggests for social media uses to practice becoming self aware aware of content that triggers certain feelings.

Certain posts, comments, or feelings may be a defense or deflection to what is truly going on in someone’s life.

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