Two Hours of Social Media Per Day Can Cause Depression in Teens

It's time to put down those phones, tablets, computers, and if there's anything else kids these days are consuming media with, that needs to go too.

A study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking has revealed that teens that spend over two hours per day on social media are more likely to suffer from depression than those who aren't constantly checking their Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc.

Researchers gathered their data from a 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, analysing the mood and frequency of social media usage in the teens. The results showed that teens who were spending too much time in their social media world were more prone to exhibiting signs of depression, psychological distress, and suicidal thoughts.

While those results are of course very concerning, it doesn't mean that everyone who used their social media for that time period was affected, nor does it mean that the ones who were felt severe symptoms of depression.

The biggest problem is the people who spend their time online comparing their lives to that of others, be they celebrities, or even people you know. The University of Houston earlier this year claimed to have found a reason for this, naming it 'social comparison'.

In a sense this means that we compare ourselves to the online version of other people, forgetting that what the majority of people post is a collection of the best things going on their lives. Leaving out the mundane, everyday aspects of life, while ramping up the interesting things you're doing, serves to create a facade which people believe to be an attainable existence. Viewing this 'highlight reel' of other people's lives can intensify loneliness or depression in suffers.


However, teens who use their social media for it's original purpose, to talk to and keep in contact with friends online, are far less likely to suffer any of these problems.

So basically, just use social media to talk to your friends, don't be fooled by photoshop and definitely stop creeping on people you know who seem interesting or cool, because they have to go through all the boring, annoying, frustrating things that we all do too.

Would you try at a tech detox or do you reach for your phone and Facebook before you even brush your teeth in the morning? Or are you feeling the effects of 'social comparison'?


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