Social Media and Depression

Posted by on Nov 28, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

Social Media and Depression

Fascinating new Ivy League study

shows the ‘Clear Causal Link’ between Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and ‘Loneliness and Depression’.

Facebook would be nothing without its Ivy League roots. But now a new Ivy League study could mean big trouble for Facebook, along with Instagram and Snapchat for that matter. That’s because this is the first study to show a “clear causal link” between using these three sites and being lonely and depressed.

Other studies have certainly found that heavy users of Facebook and other social media sites suffered mental health issues. But that was about correlation, not causation. Those studies mostly found that it could simply be that people who are depressed and lonely to begin with wind up using Facebook and similar sites more often–as opposed to the sites themselves causing the issues.

This new study from the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania, however, says it’s made the crucial link. Here it is in their own words, in what’s probably the most important passage in their published research:

[O]urs is the first study to establish a clear causal link between decreasing social media use, and improvements in loneliness and depression. It is ironic, but perhaps not surprising, that reducing social media, which promised to help us connect with others, actually helps people feel less lonely and depressed.

[Emphasis added, because it’s so important.]

The research is due to be published in the January edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology (opens as PDF file). The study, conducted by professors Melissa Hunt, Rachel Marx, Courtney Lipson and Jordyn Young, focused on 143 University of Pennsylvania undergraduates, who were tested over a period of weeks on seven different scales that measure moods and psychological well-being.

Click here to read the whole article by Bill Murphy Jr., Contributing editor,

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