The use of social media (social media) is associated with an increased risk of depression, which varies depending on the age of the user and which media he uses mainly (Snapchat seems to have the biggest impact after Facebook), according to a new American scientific study.
This is another study that finds a link between social media and the likelihood of depressive symptoms. But without specifying to what extent online platforms are simply bringing to light or exacerbating pre-existing mental health problems that have not occurred before.
The researchers, with Dr. Roy Perlis of Harvard University School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital, who published the study in the American Medical Journal JAMA Network Open, analyzed data on nearly 5,400 adults with a mean age of 56 years ( two-thirds of women), none of whom were diagnosed with mild depression at the start of the study (May 2020). But a year later (May 2021), almost one in ten users (9%) had shown signs of depression.
The risk increased with the use of three popular media: Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok. But there were age differences: the risk was higher for TikTok and Snapchat users over the age of 35, but not younger, while the opposite was true for Facebook, where the risk of depression was higher for users under the age of 35 but not older.
“The relationship between social media and mental health has been the subject of intense debate,” Perlis said, noting that it is not clear, nor from the new research, whether social media itself causes depression. as he said, “one possible explanation is that people at high risk for depression, even if they do not yet have depression, are more likely to use social media. “Another explanation is that social media really does increase the risk.