With the emergence of social media over the past 20 years, life has rapidly changed! Across the whole globe, the development of mobile technology has played an important role in shaping the impact of social media.
Social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and more have become an icon of modern age. With the growing popularity of the internet, depression and mood disorders among adolescents have also steadily risen.
Using such apps too frequently can make you feel increasingly unhappy and isolated in the long run. For example: While scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed, have you ever felt that everyone else is living their life better than yours? You are the only one who is not happy and having a boring life.
Such social media behaviours are linked with major depressive disorder (MDD), said researchers.
In a study of over 500 millennials who actively use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Snapchat, the team from Texas State University identified five key social media factors associated with MDD.
Krista Howard, from the Texas State University, said the following points:
know how can lead to depression
- While the study highlights social media behaviours that are associated with major depression, it is important to recognise that social media use can offer many positive benefits, including fostering social support
- The key is for individuals to develop an awareness of how they currently use social media and to determine what changes could be made in their social media use to reduce the behaviours associated with psychological distress
- Some changes could include reducing the time spent on social media, unfollowing individuals or groups that cause distress, or limiting online social comparisons
Individuals who were more likely to compare themselves to others better off than they were, those who indicated that they would be more bothered by being tagged in unflattering pictures and those less likely to post pictures of themselves along with other people were more likely to meet the criteria for MDD.
The study, reported in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioural Research, also found that participants following over 300 Twitter accounts were less likely to have MDD. Participating in negative social media behaviours is also associated with a higher likelihood of having MDD.