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social media and depression link
Updated 18 April 2021
Subject Corporations , Movies
Category Business , Entertainment , Information Science and Technology
Topic Facebook , Modern Technology , The Social Network
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Writing help, paraphrasing tool, social media: depression .
- Adolescence , Communication , Depression , Facebook , Social Media
How it works
There has been a point in someone’s life where they did not feel good enough. Everyone experiences not having the perfect body image, the perfect grades, or the popularity. Based off of a newsletter named “Healthline” they discovered that over 350 million people in the United States suffer from depression. One thing that does not help is social media.
These filters allow the users to change the shape of their face, the way their eyes look, and become silly animals. According to Sherry Turkle, who is a professor of the social studies of science and technology, says that “not only do we let our phones determine what we do, we let it change who we are.” (Turkle, 2012) Social media creates a life inside a person’s phone that people become addicted too, and believe that it is the way to live, look, and act.
Media is used way too much whether people like it or not. According to Sophia Smith, who is the author to a BBC article, states that the over use of social media is debated whether it is a mental health disorder or not. As of January 2018, the WHO (World Health Organization) identified video gaming as an addiction. (Smith, 2018) Before discussed even further, there are different types of social media that needs to be explained. The first social media that is the most popular is Facebook. Facebook, allows a user to post their own posts defining their day or thoughts. Facebook also allows pictures to be uploaded where their friends can like and comment on them. The number of friends a person has, defines their popularity. The next most popular social media app in the United States is Instagram. Although Instagram is very similar to Facebook, it is used in a different way. Like Facebook, pictures are posted where likes and comments are received, posts on Instagram are not allowed.
However, a “Story” can be uploaded where a picture or video can be seen up to 24 hours with writing that announces one’s feelings. Once again, the number of followers a user has identifies how popular that person is, it is just more obsessed with, to where people feel the need to purchase the followers they have. On Instagram, it allows people to create their own theme on their account, meaning that they can only post pictures that relate to the theme they picked.
The last social media to be discussed is Snapchat. Although it is not the most popular, it has its impacts. Snapchat creates filters that enhances the users face. Some of them can be “cute” animals such as the dog filter that changes a person’s nose with a dog nose and adds dog ears on top of the human head, and others are simple, such as, eyelash extensions and has the effect of a light self- tan. (Whiteman, 2015)
in teens is very common, 3.1 million teens have been depressed and experienced what it felt like. (Major Depression, 2017) Teenagers in this generation tend to interact with their phones and social media. A very common thing in high school is cyber bullying. Teenagers feel the need to bully their peers through social media. Not only will this cause depression, but in most cases even suicide. Katie Hurley created a short article based on how parents can help their teens with depression. Teenagers feel like they can not go to their parents and they feel alone but reading Hurley’s article showed wonderful advice on how make teenagers feel comfortable talking to their parents’. (Hurley, 2018)
Social media can not only affect teenagers, it can affect anyone in different age groups. Based on the people seen on Instagram posts or Snapchat stories, others tend to “want” to be them. People see the way others post and the number of likes and wonderful comments they receive, therefore, they feel the need to post like that. According to Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk video, she explains how people let phones control what we do. (Turkle, 2012) In the beginning of her video Turkle describes how a simple text can change a simple mood. Her example was her daughter sending a good luck text. Now this doesn’t just mean a positive text, it can be negative texts or negative posts they see on their phone. Although posts and texts are just through a cellular device, it can either ruin a persons’ day, or brighten it up. In conclusion, social media should not interfere with our daily lives. People should limit the amount of time they use for social media.
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Does social media use cause depression.
How heavy Instagram and Facebook use may be affecting kids negatively
Writer: Caroline Miller
Clinical Experts: Jerry Bubrick, PhD , Alexandra Hamlet, PsyD
What You'll Learn
- What do we know about the connection between social media use and depression?
- How can using social media affect kids negatively?
- How can parents help kids build healthy social media habits?
Studies show that depression among teenagers and young adults has gotten more common over the past decade. Social media use has also increased during the same time. It’s hard to say for sure that social media causes depression. Still, there are several ways that using social media could harm kids.
Some experts think that connecting with peers online is less emotionally fulfilling than connecting in person. Research shows that teenagers who spend more time on social media also feel more isolated. It could be that kids who already feel isolated use social media more. But it could be that using social media actually makes kids feel isolated.
Another theory is that social media is bad for teenagers’ self-esteem. Seeing lots of perfect pictures online might make kids (especially girls) view themselves negatively. Feeling bad about themselves can lead to depression.
Social media can also cut into the time that kids spend on activities that make them feel good, like exercise and hobbies. Additionally, it can distract from important tasks like homework. Having to juggle those responsibilities can increase kids’ stress. Studies also suggest that using social media at night interferes with restful sleep for many teenagers.
It’s important for parents to check in with kids about their social media use and help them develop healthy habits. You can encourage kids to turn off notifications, spend plenty of time on offline activities that make them feel good, and put phones away before bedtime. You can also set a good example by modeling balance in your own use of social media.
Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for signs of depression and get professional help if you’re worried. It’s especially important to check on kids who are under a lot of stress.
Is using social media making our kids unhappy? Evidence is mounting that there is a link between social media and depression . In several studies, teenage and young adult users who spend the most time on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms were shown to have a substantially (from 13 to 66 percent) higher rate of reported depression than those who spent the least time.
Does that mean that Instagram and TikTok are actually causing depression? These studies show a correlation, not causation. But it’s worth a serious look at how social media could be affecting teenagers and young adults negatively.
One reason the correlation seems more than coincidental is that an increase in depression occurred in tandem with the rise in smartphone use .
A 2017 study of over half a million eighth through 12th graders found that the number exhibiting high levels of depressive symptoms increased by 33 percent between 2010 and 2015. In the same period, the suicide rate for girls in that age group increased by 65 percent.
Smartphones were introduced in 2007, and by 2015 fully 92 percent of teens and young adults owned a smartphone . The rise in depressive symptoms correlates with smartphone adoption during that period, even when matched year by year, observes the study’s lead author, San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge, PhD.
Over that same time period there was a sharp spike in reports of students seeking help at college and university counseling centers, principally for depression and anxiety. Visits jumped 30 percent between 2010 and 2015 , and they’ve continued to rise since the pandemic.
Social media and depression
One of the biggest differences in the lives of current teenagers and young adults, compared to earlier generations, is that they spend much less time connecting with their peers in person and more time connecting electronically, principally through social media.
Some experts see the rise in depression as evidence that the connections social media users form electronically are less emotionally satisfying, leaving them feeling socially isolated.
“The less you are connected with human beings in a deep, empathic way, the less you’re really getting the benefits of a social interaction,” points out Alexandra Hamlet, PsyD, a clinical psychologist. “The more superficial it is, the less likely it’s going to cause you to feel connected, which is something we all need.”
Indeed, one exception to the depression correlation is girls who are high users of social media but also keep up a high level of face-to-face social interaction. The Twenge study showed that those girls who interact intensely offline as well as through social media don’t show the increase in depressive symptoms that those who interact less in person do.
And there are some teenagers who aren’t successful in connecting with peers offline, because they are isolated geographically or don’t feel accepted in their schools and local communities. For those kids, electronic connection can be lifesaving.
Social media and perceived isolation
Another study of a national sample of young adults (age 19-32) showed correlation between the time spent on social media and perceived social isolation (PSI). The authors noted that directionality can’t be determined. That is, “Do people feeling socially isolated spend more time on social media, or do more intense users develop PSI?”
If it’s the latter, they noted, “Is it because the individual is spending less time on more authentic social experiences that would decrease PSI? Or is it the nature of observing highly curated social feeds that they make you feel more excluded?”
Which brings us what we now call FOMO, or fear of missing out.
Jerry Bubrick , PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, observes that “FOMO is really the fear of not being connected to our social world, and that need to feel connected sometimes trumps whatever’s going on in the actual situation we’re in. The more we use social media, the less we think about being present in the moment.”
Instead we might be occupied with worrying why we weren’t invited to a party we’re seeing on Instagram, or making sure we don’t miss a single post from a friend. But if we’re always playing catch-up to endless online updates, we’re prioritizing social interactions that aren’t as emotionally rewarding and can actually make us feel more isolated.
Social media and self-esteem
Another theory about the increase in depression is the loss of self-esteem , especially in teenage girls, when they c ompare themselves negatively with artfully curated images of those who appear to be prettier, thinner, more popular and richer.
“Many girls are bombarded with their friends posting the most perfect pictures of themselves, or they’re following celebrities and influencers who do a lot of Photoshopping and have makeup and hair teams,” explains Dr. Hamlet. “If that’s their model for what is normal, it can be very hard on their self-confidence.”
Indeed, image-driven Instagram shows up in surveys as the platform that most leads young people to report feeling anxiety, depression and worries about body image.
Curation of a perfect image may not only make others feel inadequate, it’s unhealthy even for those who appear to be successful at it, notes Dr. Bubrick. “Kids spend so much time on social media trying to post what they think the world will think is a perfect life. Look at how happy I am! Look how beautiful I am! Without that they’re worried that their friends won’t accept them. They’re afraid of being rejected.” And if they are getting positive feedback from their social media accounts, they might worry that what their friends like isn’t the “real” them.
Less healthy activity
Another possible source of depression may be what teenagers are not doing during while they’re spending time on social media, including physical activity and things that generate a sense of accomplishment, like learning new skills and developing talents.
“If you’re spending a lot of time on your phone, you have less time for activities that can build confidence, a sense of achievement and connectedness,” explains Dr. Hamlet.
Kids who are spending a lot of time on devices are not getting much in return to make them feel good about themselves, she adds. “Yes, you get a little dopamine burst whenever you get a notification, or a like on a picture, or a follow request. But those things are addicting without being satisfying.”
Another thing disrupted by social media is the process of doing homework and other tasks that require concentration. It’s become common for teenagers to engage with friends on social media at the same time they are studying. They take pride in being able to multi-task, but evidence shows that it cuts down on learning and performance.
“Basically, multitasking isn’t possible,” Dr. Hamlet notes. “What you end up doing is really just switching back and forth between two tasks rather quickly. There is a cost to the brain.” And with poorer concentration and constant interruption, homework takes substantially longer than it should, cutting into free time and adding to stress.
Sleep deprivation and depression
Some of the ways in which social media use impacts mood may be indirect. For instance, one of the most common contributors to depression in teenagers is sleep deprivation , which can be caused, or exacerbated, by social media.
Research shows that 60 percent of adolescents are looking at their phones in the last hour before sleep, and that they get on average an hour less sleep than their peers who don’t use their phones before bed. Blue light from electronic screens interferes with falling asleep ; on top of that, checking social media is not necessarily a relaxing or sleep-inducing activity. Scrolling on social media, notes Dr. Hamlet, can easily end up causing stress.
“Social media can have a profound effect on sleep,” adds Dr. Bubrick. “You have the intention to check Instagram or watch TikTok videos for 5 minutes, and the next thing you know 50 minutes are gone. You’re an hour behind in sleep, and more tired the next day. You find it harder to focus. You’re off your game, and it spirals from there .”
How to minimize negative effects of social media use
While we don’t yet have conclusive evidence that social media use actually causes depression, we do have plenty of warning signs that it may be affecting our kids negatively. So it’s smart for parents to check in regularly with kids about their social media use, to make sure it’s positive and healthy, and guide them towards ways to change it , if you think it’s not.
Also, be alert for symptoms of depression . If you notice signs that your child might be depressed, take them seriously. Ask your child how they are doing, and don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with a mental health provider .
Steps you can take to ensure healthy social media use:
- Focus on balance: Make sure your kids are also engaging in social interaction offline, and have time for activities that help build identity and self-confidence.
- Turn off notifications: App developers are getting more and more aggressive with notifications to lure users to interrupt whatever they’re doing to engage constantly with their phones. Don’t let them.
- Look out for girls at higher risk of depression: Monitor girls who are going through a particularly tough time or are under unusual stress. Negative effects of social media can have more impact when confidence is down.
- Teach mindful use of social media : Encourage teenagers to be honest with themselves about how time spent on social media makes them feel, and disengage from interactions that increase stress or unhappiness.
- Model restraint and balance in your own media diet: Set an example by disengaging from media to spend quality family time together, including phone-free dinners and other activities. Kids may resist, but they’ll feel the benefits.
- Phone-free time before sleep: Enforce a policy of no smartphones in the bedroom after a specific time and overnight. Use an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Social media has been shown to be correlated with anxiety and depression. This correlation could have to do with teens connecting more online rather than in person, leaving them feeling socially isolated. Teens are also looking at carefully curated images online, which may cause anxiety, low self-esteem, and body image issues.
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Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety
It is no mystery that today’s society is technologically advanced and that globally everyone has a mobile phone or other handheld electronic gadgets. People can now have a wide range of options at their fingertips in a matter of seconds. Although the technology is beneficial, excess usage of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, What’s App, etc., can be equivalent to addiction and negatively impacts people (Glaser et al., 12). Notably, many individuals who spend most of their time on these apps have been found to have anxiety and depression-related symptoms. Thus, it is clear that the increased use of social media in contemporary society adversely affects individuals resulting in depression and anxiety, particularly in those who use it for an extended period regularly.
The displacement hypothesis claims that excessive involvement in some activities obstructs participation in other activities that may be more helpful. Although this theory predates social media, it can help explain why excessive social media usage might be harmful. According to the idea, every minute spent online takes away time needed for activities that are better for a person’s mental health, such as exercise. This implies that the harm produced by social media is proportional to the amount of time spent on it, bolstering the claim that “social media is hazardous to an individual’s mental health” (Glaser et al. 13). This confirms the displacement hypothesis’ description of how social media displaces positive activities, having a negative, monotonic influence on mental health, proving and confirming the assertion that social media causes depression and anxiety.
Excessive use of social media can harm an individual’s perception and sense of isolation. Additionally, individuals are missing out on time that they could be spending on various other activities, including studying, sleeping, spending quality time with family and friends, participating in sports, or simply resting. Adolescence is notorious for staying up much past their typical bedtime, resulting in a lack of proper sleep consistently today. They are continually inundating their brains with information that must be sorted and processed (Shensa et al. 116). It is well accepted that sleep is necessary for the body and the brain to perform at their best. Sleep deprivation has also been related to higher incidences of depression in the past. Furthermore, lower academic performance depression is directly related to the amount of time a student spends on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Another characteristic of social media use is that it has a significant impact on self-image and self-worth, which are heavily influenced by body image. The image of the body refers to how a person views oneself as a whole and what they believe about it, including physical qualities and attitudes toward it. Many people are preoccupied with their physical attractiveness and neglect their inherent talents to gain societal acceptance (Glaser et al. 14). Most of the time, even if they receive praise or meet society’s expectations, it is not enough, so they embark on a quest to be as perfect as a model or actress, which leads to depression. On social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, diverse male and female models’ bodies are displayed. As a result, if people fail to match social media’s expectations, anxiety concerns may occur, leading to depression.
Additionally, depression and anxiety do not discriminate against anyone, regardless of age, religion, or social standing. Nowadays, half of the celebrities suffer from depression and anxiety, just like everyone else. People are perpetually perplexed by the difference between sorrow and depression; they believe that a depressed person appears sad, but this is not the case (Shensa et al. 117). Similarly, celebrities appear to be joyful in front of the camera and the media, but they are suffering on the inside, which is unknown to the public. Even many of them have committed suicide as a result of depression, which was exacerbated in part by the use of social media platforms. Additionally, because of today’s social media-oriented culture, they may also receive messages from their detractors who may be disrespectful to them or do something harmful to their reputation. As a result, celebrities who receive negative comments on social media are frequently forced to take a break from their careers, leading to depression.
In conclusion, the excessive social media use can have adverse effects on individuals. Its continuous exposure to users can aggravate the anxiety and depression-related symptoms. Furthermore, it is stated that the effects of social media usage by individuals are dependent on whether they utilize it constructively or adversely. Overall, depression and anxiety are characterized by decreased communication with people, spending more time alone at home, and having bad thoughts. A depressed person’s close friend or family member can assist them in getting out of their mental disorders by encouraging or motivating them to use social media constructively. The posts and stories on social media can significantly impact one’s feelings of despair and anxiety. As a result, people must recognize the necessity of restricting their use of social media and engaging in physical activity to make their minds less stressed and healthier.
Glaser, Philip, et al. “Is Social Media Use for Networking Positive or Negative? Offline Social Capital and Internet Addiction as Mediators for the Relationship between Social Media Use and Mental Health.” New Zealand Journal of Psychology, vol. 47, no. 3, 2018, pp. 12-18.
Shensa, Ariel, et al. “Social Media Use and Depression and Anxiety Symptoms: A Cluster Analysis.” American Journal of Health Behavior, vol. 42, no. 2, 2018, pp. 116-128.
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Premium Papers. (2023, October 12). Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety. Retrieved from https://premium-papers.com/social-media-the-rise-of-depression-and-anxiety/
Premium Papers. (2023, October 12). Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety. https://premium-papers.com/social-media-the-rise-of-depression-and-anxiety/
"Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety." Premium Papers , 12 Oct. 2023, premium-papers.com/social-media-the-rise-of-depression-and-anxiety/.
Premium Papers . (2023) 'Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety'. 12 October.
Premium Papers . 2023. "Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety." October 12, 2023. https://premium-papers.com/social-media-the-rise-of-depression-and-anxiety/.
1. Premium Papers . "Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety." October 12, 2023. https://premium-papers.com/social-media-the-rise-of-depression-and-anxiety/.
Premium Papers . "Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety." October 12, 2023. https://premium-papers.com/social-media-the-rise-of-depression-and-anxiety/.
Does Social Media Use Contribute to Depression?
Social media is a relatively new concept in a modern world. It combines technology and social tendencies to enhance interaction through Internet-based gadgets and applications (Luxton, June, & Fairall, 2012). Through social media platforms, users can create and exchange their own content irrespective of time and distance. Social media consist of several popular platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, blogging sites, MySpace, and Twitter, among others. These modes of socialization have transformed interaction through their instant chatting, messaging, and video capabilities. Today, billions of people use social media sites to interact across the world and share various pieces of content, including photos, news reports, Web links, and posts. A recent poll established that 22 percent of teenagers log on to their various social media sites more than ten times in any given day, while over half of adolescents visited the same sites more than once in a single day (O’Keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011). As more people have begun to own smartphones, the use of social media has continued to rise, shaping the emotional, mental, and social development of the modern generation. Social media sites offer viable tools for modern communication among individuals and even large organizations; they enable the sharing of ideas, opinions, and vital information. The purpose of this paper is to explore the current literature and determine whether existing research supports the theory that social media use contributes to depression among users.
Depression is a critical public health issue, but the exact causes of this mental disorder remain unknown. However, researchers have strived to examine whether there is a link between the use of social media and depression by conducting several studies among users. One such study involved over 700 students in the United States to determine the association between Facebook use, feelings of envy, and depression. This research showed that Facebook can trigger feelings of envy among users (Tandoc, Ferrucci, & Duffy, 2015), which may consequently cause depression. In this case, feelings of envy related to the use of Facebook were responsible for symptoms of depression, an outcome that was noted in users who regularly compared themselves with the others on Facebook. Notably, Tandoc et al. (2015) established that the use of Facebook alone did not contribute to depression, but rather the most critical factor for symptoms of depression was what the researchers called “Facebook envy”. Those who experienced increased feelings of envy when viewing the activities and photos of friends were the ones most likely to develop increased signs associated with depression (Tandoc et al., 2015). Feelings of low mood were inevitable if people continued to monitor Facebook posts of their friends. However, the researchers noted that the relationships between these variables remained complex due to the presence of other underlying factors, including mental health status, lifestyle, and individual traits (Tandoc et al., 2015). The study, therefore, concluded that there was no direct relationship between Facebook use and depression.
While Tandoc et al. (2015) did not establish a direct link between Facebook and depression, other researchers have introduced the term ‘Facebook depression’. It was meant to refer to depression that occurs when “preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression” (O’Keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011, p. 800). Issues, such as increased contact with and acceptance by peers, are fundamental motivations for social media use. Consequently, researchers have noted that the extent of social media use could be a factor that may trigger depression in some users. O’Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson (2011) also observed that preteens and teenagers who experienced ‘Facebook depression’ were at relatively higher risks for social isolation. In some instances, they could turn to other websites that offer unsolicited and potentially dangerous sex advice, depictions of substance abuse, and other forms of self-destructive behaviors.
On the same note, some researchers have singled out suicide as a possible consequence of social media use. The relationship between suicide and depression has been well documented in the past studies (Beskow, 1990). Given such associations, researchers are now interested in how social media sites have been used to aid suicide attempts among users. They have, however, pointed out that the extent of social media’s influence on suicidal tendencies, if the link exists at all, is not simple to establish due to the many other underlying variables (Luxton et al., 2012). Another possible link between social media use and depression comes from cyberbullying and harassment, both of which contribute to depression. Cyberbullying involves targeted, intentional, and repeated threats, harassment, humiliation, or embarrassment of the victim. It remains a serious challenge on social media sites. Studies have indicated that the rates of cyberbullying have continued to rise (Luxton et al., 2012). At the same time, the social media contagion effect has been reported as a factor that can influence user behavior and eventually lead to suicide. This effect reflects the influence of other users’ suicidal behaviors on young people who are exposed to suicide-related material, which can be easily found on many online forums.
Another potentially depression-triggering phenomenon related to social media use is sexting. Sexting, which involves the exchange of sexually explicit content among users through social media platforms, has led to widespread and unauthorized distribution of the related content (Hasinoff, 2012). Sexting is not limited to teens alone but also involves adults who may post nude or seminude photos of themselves. These behaviors have devastating effects when exposed to an unintended audience.
Depending on the situation, they can lead to charges of child pornography or juvenile law misdemeanors. They can also lead to other unforeseen consequences from school or community authorities, such as suspension from school. Many teens who have been suspended or expelled from school or have had private photos exposed on social media sites eventually develop symptoms associated with depression and other mental health conditions.
Overall, the available evidence shows that social media use can influence depression as well as suicidal ideation tendencies among users. A growing number of social media sites with pro-suicide content pose new risks to vulnerable individuals. Studies have clearly noted that increased exposure to harmful content can lead to depression and other mental health problems, as well as social isolation, harassment, and stalking (Best, Manktelow, & Taylor, 2014). However, in their systematic review of the literature, Best et al. (2014) noted that contradictory evidence was available regarding mental health and social media use. They concluded that no robust research has directly linked depression and social media use among young people. At the same time, the authors pointed out that social media platforms and other online technologies have been significantly adopted to enhance social well-being and social care (Best et al., 2014). Hence, it is necessary to conduct further studies to determine the relationship between depression and social media, arguing that social media sites could be effectively used to enhance the well-being of users.
It is difficult to determine the precise causes of mental disorders including depression. This implies that social media use perhaps may not be responsible for depression, but rather it may exacerbate symptoms of depression based on unique individual characteristics of the user, such as personality traits, mental health, and overall physical health. To sum up, this research has established that other confounding variables exist for depression and, therefore, social media use solely does not contribute to depression.
Beskow, J. (1990). Depression and Suicide. Pharmacopsychiatry, 23(Suppl 1), 3–8.
Best, P., Manktelow, R., & Taylor, B. (2014). Online communication, social media and adolescent wellbeing: A systematic narrative review. Children and Youth Services Review, 41, 27–36.
Hasinoff, A.A. (2012). Sexting as media production: Rethinking social media and sexuality. New Media & Society, 15(4), 449–465.
Luxton, D. D., June, J. D., & Fairall, J. M. (2012). Social media and suicide: A public health perspective. American Journal of Public Health, 102(Suppl 2), S195–S200.
O’Keeffe, G. S., & Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families. Pediatrics, 127(4), 800–804.
Tandoc, E. C., Jr, Ferrucci, P., & Duffy, M. (2015). Facebook use, envy, and depression among college students: Is facebooking depressing? Computers in Human Behavior, 43, 139–146.
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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 20). Does Social Media Use Contribute to Depression? Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/does-social-media-use-contribute-to-depression/
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Social Networking and Depression Argumentative Essay
Studies show that social networking has a potential of causing depression and the more individuals use social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, the more they are filled with anxiety leading to depression. In the University of Michigan, a study was conducted with a sample of eighty-two Facebook users in a period of two weeks.
The findings of the study confirmed that once an individual engages in social networking, his or her feeling of safety goes down and depression mood emerges meaning that a correlation between depression and social networking exists (Harris 81). Unlike other forms of social networking, such as chatting with friends, social sites offer invaluable data that are incapable of fulfilling an individual needs, such as security and safety.
If an individual spends more time on Facebook, he or she might end up depressed the whole day because of anxiety (Myers 17). Apart from causing depression, social networking may cause the fear of missing out because an individual feels rejected and neglected once his or her message or information is not taken positively. Some users may criticize the views of an individual, yet no chance is given to defend the idea.
While on Facebook or Twitter, an individual feels inadequate or insufficient because one person might post a good picture showing magnificent vacation, luxurious purchases, and gorgeous children. In case an individual does not have the means to achieve his or her ambitions, he or she might be jealous and might be resentful since good things are happening in the lives of others while suffering might be the characteristic of his or her life.
In a different study conducted in Sweden at the University of Gothenburg that interviewed 111 Facebook users, it was established that internet networking has an effect on the self-esteem of an individual, as well as his relationships with others (Noor and Hendricks 64). Individuals spending more time on Facebook and other social sites have low sense of worth.
Additionally, social networking causes narcissism because users spend too much time and resources for decoration of their pictures and modifying their profiles in order to gain approval and praise. If an individual posts a status update on Facebook or Twitter and no person is interested in commenting, there would be a high likelihood that an individual will be worried because he will not understand some of the reasons why others are reluctant to respond.
Scholars, artists, politicians, and other professionals might be tempted to post something related to their achievements, such as published works or won award. Such individuals would be affected greatly in case someone decides to post something negative (Noor and Hendricks 67). Many people end up spending sleepless nights because of a negative comment that someone posted on Facebook or Twitter.
Continued usage of the social media contributes to the erosion of true relationships because it is difficult for individuals to interact face-to-face, as the traditional form of interaction is being replaced by shallow and meaningless online connections. Studies show that this is damaging the well-being of society since human need for true relationship is difficult to find (Myers 48).
Since individuals are incapable of finding authentic relationships and love, they tend to turn to the social sites for consolation. Instead of being comforted, the social media only serves one purpose that is related to depression and mental illnesses. In the modern society, it is common to find an idle person on Fcaebook or Twitter since it is believed to keep a person active.
The modern society is characterized by uncertainties and disappointments and people report all these in the social sites. For instance, of all the internet users, one or two people will report losing a job or breaking up a relationship. Again, the death of an individual will always be noticed, particularly when the person is famous.
Through the social sites, an individual realizes that it is so easy to lose a job or break up in a relationship, something that brings about anxiety. If the death of a famous person is reported, sadness mood comes in because there would be a feeling of loss. Some internet users develop a culture of judging others, irrespective of whether their post is accurate or not. In other words, they simply spread propaganda and falsehood once they realize that their ambition cannot be realized (Myers 75).
For instance, one person might fail to convince another to enter into a deal or relationship. Instead of accepting the outcome and moving on, he or she would go a notch higher to comment negatively on the social media, something that might attract a penalty or revenge. In many parts of the world, online wars are widespread whereby individuals are unwilling to concede defeat and continue with lives.
This has brought about many challenges because a negative comment is given to an individual with children and a stable family. Recently, a picture of a famous politician engaging extra marital relationships was posted on the social media, yet the leader has children and a good family (Kaplan and Haenlein 68). This causes depression to many people who feel disappointed and cheated. Even though the information posted might be inaccurate, it would be difficult for other users to change their minds once they have the picture.
In order to network with a friend, a social media user must send a friend request and wait for a response. An individual will definitely be depressed in case a response is not sent in time. Social networking isolates an individual from the rest of the community because most of the time is spent chatting with online friends who might have nothing to add to an individual’s life. Many young people are simply interested with popularity and they believe that having many friends in Facebook or Twitter makes them more famous.
In reality, this does not add any value to life because friendship has to be of high quality meaning that adequate assistance can be offered when necessary. An individual with many friends on Twitter or Facebook tends to believe that he or she is illustrious, but most likely will be disappointed in a time of need because not all online friends will ever care about what is happening to the life of one member (Harris 101).
They will simply express their sadness, which might not be genuine, yet the individual would be in need of emotional and psychological support. Therefore, social networking is believed to be harmful to the well-being of the individual in society because it does not add value to life (Myers 88). Additionally, it is established that a strong correlation between social networking and depression exists and it is upon the individual to control internet usage.
Harris, Kandace. “Using Social Networking Sites as Student Engagement Tools.” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 25.18 (2008): 88-112. Print.
Kaplan, Andreas, and Haenlein, Michael. “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media”. Business Horizons, 53.1 (2010): 61-98. Print.
Myers, David. Social Psychology . New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2012. Print.
Noor, Al-Deen, and Hendricks, John. Social Media: Usage and Impact . Lanham: Lexington Books, 2012. Print.
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IvyPanda. (2019, January 17). Social Networking and Depression. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-networking-and-depression/
"Social Networking and Depression." IvyPanda , 17 Jan. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/social-networking-and-depression/.
IvyPanda . (2019) 'Social Networking and Depression'. 17 January.
IvyPanda . 2019. "Social Networking and Depression." January 17, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-networking-and-depression/.
1. IvyPanda . "Social Networking and Depression." January 17, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-networking-and-depression/.
IvyPanda . "Social Networking and Depression." January 17, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-networking-and-depression/.
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