The Correlation Between Depression and Use of Social Media

Being a Boomer has meant that I need much more education in using computer programs. Us “folks” who didn’t grow up with a keyboard in our cradles are still trying to catch up. But now, thanks to Science Daily, I may have found justification for not being as up-to-date as I should be…here’s an interesting article on the correlation between depression and social media use that I came across.

Compared with the total time spent on social media, the use of multiple platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults, researchers have found in a national survey.

The analysis, published online and scheduled for the April print issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior, showed that people who report using seven to 11 social media platforms had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than their peers who use zero to two platforms, even after adjusting for the total time spent on social media overall.

“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,” said lead author and physician Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., director of CRMTH (Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health) and assistant vice chancellor for health and society in Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences. “While we can’t tell from this study whether depressed and anxious people seek out multiple platforms or whether something about using multiple platforms can lead to depression and anxiety, in either case the results are potentially valuable.”

So, I have to say there was a silver lining for me in being somewhat of a newbie when it comes to the online world.