Depression Linked to Using Multiple Social Media Platforms

Researchers have found a correlation between both anxiety and depression and the number of social networks a person has.

A 2016 UCLA study found that a teenager’s brain reward system becomes excited when teenagers see high numbers of “likes” on their photos. Now, researchers are suggesting that if a young adult is on several social media platforms, then they are more likely have symptoms of both depression and anxiety.

The study, published in the journal of “Computers in Human Behavior”, studied the use of several social networking platforms and symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.

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Stock Photo: Man using Facebook application on his smartphone, background is a image from the projector – photography from social media meeting in city of Lodz, Poland 07.11. 2014 (Michal Ludwiczak /

In a nationally representative sample of U.S. young adults, researchers found a positive correlation between the number of social media platforms used and depression.

Scientists also discovered a linear association between the number of platforms used and anxiety. In addition, regardless of how much time a person spends on a social network website, researchers said the associated symptoms of depression and anxiety continued to remain strong.

This study illustrates that U.S. young adults who use several social media platforms are more likely to become depressed or experience anxiety. In fact, subjects in the study who used 7 to 11 social media platforms were more likely to have increased levels of both depression and anxiety.

Lead researcher Brian A. Primack from the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh School of Medicine argued in his study that clinicians should ask individuals with depression and anxiety how many social media platforms they have.

So what social media platforms are young adults using? Studies report Snapchat is the most popular apps among teens, followed by Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and finally Tumblr.

Social media has become an integral part of life for many young adults. Studies have shown that teens are spending approximately six hours per day on their cell phone. Some reports suggest that millions of teens across America are spending every waking minute of their life in front of a screen.


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