Human being is a social animal; and this fact is not based on the launch of Facebook or Twitter. Since ancient times, human beings formed social communities, and faught for their survival.
However, the onslaught of Internet and social media websites like Facebook, Twitter is now leading us to depression and other psychotic disorders which were unknown till now.
A new study by University of Pittsburgh, which is one of the oldest Universities of USA has revealed this shocking truth, which can have far reaching consequences on the study of human behavior vis-a-vis Internet and digital world.
Researchers studied and observed users of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn networks; and found that those who are rigorous users of these social networks are 2.7 times more likely to become depressed, compared to those who don’t use these websites.
Senior author Brian A. Primack, who is the Director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health said in this study: “Because social media has become such an integrated component of human interaction, it is important for clinicians interacting with young adults to recognize the balance to be struck in encouraging potential positive use, while redirecting from problematic use,”
Lead author Lui yi Lin of the University of Pittsburgh said, “It may be that people who already are depressed are turning to social media to fill a void.”
The Methodology & The Shocking Results
For this study, researchers selected 1700 people, aged between 19 and 32 years; a demographic which is considered heaviest users of social media.
As per the results, an average user will spend close to 61 minutes on these portals, in a week, more than 30 times they will access these sites to check what their friends are doing.
And the likes, follows, re-tweets which happen (or which doesn’t happen) will eventually result in their mental disorder which develops slowly but gradually over time.
Besides, there was also a direct co-relation between time spent on these social media sites. The study found that those who are heavy users of these portals are 1.7 times more likely to be depressed, compared to those are light users.
Social Media Can Actually Harm Us?
As per a 2012 study conducted by Errisson ConsumerLab, an average 9-11 year old Indian kid will spend 67 minutes on Facebook daily. And if we connect this fact with the study from University of Pittsburg, then the situation becomes grim.
Now, there is more to it, than mere depression.
Increased usage of Facebook and the desire to see more likes, more shares and more comments can actually lead to consumption of more alcohol and making the person emotionally unstable having severe fear for relationships.
We have already shared how increased usage of Internet along with addiction of social media networks is negatively altering our lifestyle, permanently.
Social Media is a wonderful platform to share, collaborate and create content which was never possible before. But as recent studies have shown, increased usage, addiction and dependency on the same would lead to catastrophic results, hampering our mental well being.
Do share your views on this study, and how social media usage has impacted your life, by commenting right here.