Using social media less may help manage your depression and anxiety in 2017, WTAE Pittsburgh Action News 4 reports.
Studies have shown that a high amount of social media usage can be harmful to adults’ mental health. According to a study from March 2016, using multiple platforms at a high volume can increase the negative impact.
According to a study conducted in 2015, a 65-percent majority of Americans use more than one social media platform multiple times a day.
The study was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.
Researchers found that people who use seven to 11 social media platforms were more than three times as likely to experience higher levels of depression or anxiety.
Lead physician Brian A. Primack, Ph.D. said, “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.”
Study participants included 1,787 adults aged 19 – 32. The survey asked participants to disclose their social media usage, particularly whether or not they use the 11 most popular social media sites. These sites included Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, and Pinterest.
In addition to measuring participants’ depression levels with an assessment tool, researchers also took demographics like race, gender, relationship status, and income into consideration.
“It may be that people who suffer from symptoms of depression or anxiety, or both, tend to subsequently use a broader range of social media outlets,” Primack said. “However, if could also be that trying to maintain a presence on multiple platforms may actually lead to depression and anxiety. More research will be needed to tease that apart.”
It is possible that your social media usage is harming your mental health, however, that doesn’t mean you need to quit the sites entirely. Instead, try to limit yourself to checking social media at a certain time each day.