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Location: Home / Technology / Is depression linked with social media use in adults?

Is depression linked with social media use in adults?

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The use of social media has correlations with reduced well-being and increased anxiety and depression among adolescents and young adults.

One review highlighted a study that found using the internet to communicate and play games for more than 4 hours a day predicts depressive symptoms 1 year later. The research also found that depressive symptoms predict increased internet use and decreased participation in nonscreen activities.

Another study involving 990 participants in the United States found a link between social media use and the development of depression. However, preexisting depression did not predict social media use.

Is depression linked with social media use in adults?

However, how accurate these studies are may be questionable because many of them rely on self-reported social media use. A review of 47 studies investigating the accuracy of self-reported digital media use raised a concern that self-reported measurements rarely correlate with logged measurements.

Furthermore, studies often do not include adults in their samples, so the effects of social media on older age groups are relatively unknown.

Lastly, whether there is a causal relationship between social media use and depression — and which comes first — is still unknown.

Recently, researchers conducted a survey study investigating the link between social media use and the development of depressive symptoms.

The results suggest certain social media use preceded the worsening of depressive outcomes. The findings appear inJAMA Network Open.

However, some experts doubt the extent to which these findings can be interpreted.