Using social media has turned into a fad and obsession, especially among youngsters. In fact, hundreds of millions of people use various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., every day to communicate with the world. While there are advantages of using social media to make connections, both professionally and personally, many researchers have also highlighted the drawbacks. According to several researches, the excessive usage of social media is directly linked to the increased risk of developing depression.
In the last one decade, social media usage has grown drastically. About a quarter of the world population has now an account on Facebook, which is considered the king of social media. While teens are the most active users on Facebook and other social media sites, people of all ages use social media for interacting and getting the latest information from their acquaintances. However, too much of social media can trigger depressive symptoms.
Causal relationship between social media and depression
While various researchers have found a link between social media usage and depression, it is pertinent to know the basic reasons that magnify the risk of depression among the excessive social media users. Some of the most significant reasons behind the marked rise of depression among social media users are as following:
- Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is probably the foremost reason for the rise of depression among the users. A 2016 study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety highlighted that spending more time on social media may expose one to cyberbullying and other such negative interactions that may fuel depression. Cyberbullying in social media can be done in various forms, for example, giving hostile remarks on someone’s picture, posting abusive posts on the timeline, stalking through fake profiles, illegally hacking into accounts and posting irrelevant updates etc. Such actions take a toll on an individual’s mental health and can be a causal factor for the onset of depressive episodes.
- Internet addiction: Internet addiction is in itself a new mental disorder caused due to the extensive use of social media. Too much of social media usage can make people addicted to the internet and this is one of the probable reasons for the onset of depression in the long term. People grappling with depression find it comparatively easier to connect with people on social media than in real. While many studies have highlighted that social media empowers shy, introvert and hesitant people, there are several studies that have presented the darker side of excessive social media usage, such as making the virtual world the parameter of life, aloofness from the society, withdrawal from social activities, etc.
- Negative content: Exposure to negative images and stories incite negative mood and behavior among the users. Since the users update numerous posts on their profiles on a regular basis, there is only little control or regulation over the content among the moderators. As a result, there is a high chance of coming across a conflicting content while accessing social media sites. This can really have a bad effect on the mood and overall mental health of the users.
- Self-degrading comparison: It is quite human to compare oneself with others. When social media users are not able to find enough support within their own circle of acquaintances, they are forced to believe that they have inferior attributes than others. This can lead to a subdued mood, which often results in depression.
Do not fall prey to social media
Despite having some negative attributes, social media is going to stay. Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to use social media in a safe and secure manner. Since most social media platforms are shared platforms accessed by teens and children who are vulnerable to negative influences, it is everyone’s duty to keep them safe, secure and positive. Though depression can cause increased stress, it is treatable by accessing appropriate treatment and facilities. Therefore, there is no reason to worry too much. There are many dependable depression clinics in California that can be of immense help.
If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from depression, get connected with the Depression Treatment Centers of California for immediate help and know about the California depression treatment centers. You can chat online or call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855- 678-0400. Our trained professionals will assist you in solving any of your worries right away.