Are you obsessed of spending time on Facebook to see if you are getting likes for a photo you posted 2 hours ago? How many times a day do you compulsively open the Twitter app on your phone to see what is new in the world?
The University of Pittsburgh suggests those of us who are constantly tuned in one social media network or the other are 2.7 times more likely to suffer from depression than those of us who prefer the offline world a bit more.
Researchers analysed more than 1,700 people aged 19 to 32 uses Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn networks. The usage of social media on an average was 61 minutes per day and the average number of visits to a social media site was 30 times in a week. More than a quarter of the respondents were identified with severe depression.
Brian A. Primack senior author, director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health, in the research paper said that “Because social media has become such an integrated component of human interaction, it is important for clinicians interacting with young adults to recognise the balance to be struck in encouraging potential positive use, while redirecting from problematic use,”.
This isn’t the first time that studies have linked health problems with excessive exposure to social media. A 2013 research by the University of Michigan had suggested that Facebook usage actively “undermines” the well-being in young adults, irrespective of gender. In 2009, a Stony Brook University research concluded that excessive Facebook use makes teenage girls depressed.