Too many social media platforms may lead to depression, anxiety
New research has found that people who have accounts on seven to 11 social media platforms are 3.1 times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than those who have two or less platforms.
Conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health, the research also found that participants who used the most platforms among their peers had a 3.3 times higher level of anxiety symptoms, tempo.co reported.
The research’s lead author Brian A. Primack said that the connection between the number of social media accounts and a patient’s depression and anxiety was indeed strong.
Primack and his team conducted the survey since 2014 by sampling 1,787 adults in the United States aged 19 to 32 years old. In the questionnaires, there were questions related to the 11 most popular social media platforms at the time: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.
There researchers proposed three possible reasons for the higher levels of depression and anxiety among heavy social media users: the habit of multitasking while switching between platforms, unwritten rules in social medias and the opportunity to commit social media faux pas.
But, despite the strong connection, researchers have not yet established causality and do not rule out the possibility that depressed or anxious people are deliberately seeking out multiple social media platforms to make them feel more comfortable and accepted.