Is social media linked to depression?

Being a millennial and a budding journalist, whose life and possible career heavily depends on the rise and success of social media — avoiding the social world would be impossible.

A few articles from 2016, from personal and legitimate sources agree that signs of depression and anxiety can be found in people who use social media. They show studies of people who, lets say visit social media sites for at least an hour a day and usually claim that those who do are subject to having depression and other mental illnesses.

Naturally, as I’m likely to fall into that category, my interest peaked at those type of articles, and when my eyes landed on the Daily mail’s article ‘How many social media accounts do YOU have? Those with more than seven are three times more likely to suffer from depression, researchers warn.’ I instantly read it and decided to do research on the matter myself.

I initiated a twitter poll to see the thoughts of people who are active on the site. I thought using a social media platform would be fitting as fellow twitter users may be people who are not aware of this link, therefore it could produce an interesting result. It turned out 68% voted yes, while the other 32% voted no to the question, ‘Do you think the use of social media increases the chances of having depression or anxiety?’.

Although the majority voted yes, I don’t think it will deter people from using social media as avidly as they do. However, the fact that the poll has brought awareness of the link to another part of the digital social world, it has made another step to bringing the issue back up in 2017, a year where it is expected for more social media platforms to be created.

Below is a video showing the statistics and facts collected by the university of Pittsburgh about their research on the matter according to the Daily Mail.

Although I have read about the implications of the excessive use of social media, I will most likely continue to use various platforms not so much for my personal life, but for the promotion of my work and projects to come.