A research from the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health (CRMTH) revealed that use of multiple social media sites is strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults.
In order to get the results, the researchers surveyed 1,787 U.S adults between the ages of 19 and 32, using an established depression assessment tool and questionnaires.
After the survey, the researchers found that participants who used seven to 11 social media platforms had 3.1 times the odds of reporting higher levels of depressive symptoms compared to their counterparts who used zero to two platforms. This was even after the researchers adjusted for the total time spent on social media.
However, Brian A. Primack, director of CRMTH and lead author, noted that the association between the social media and depression is unclear.
“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. For example, they may be searching out multiple avenues for a setting that feels comfortable and accepting,” said Primack.
The lead author also said that trying to maintain a presence on multiple platforms may actually lead to depression.
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