Negative Experiences On Social Media May Increase Depression Risk

If you use social media you know it’s not always such a nice experience, and new research suggests unsettling experiences on social media may raise your risk for depression. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh surveyed nearly 1,200 college students and found for every 10 percent increase in unpleasant social media experiences, the risk of developing symptoms of depression rose by 20 percent. But weirdly, every 10 percent rise in positive interactions was linked to just a four percent drop in depression risk. Lead study author Dr. Brian Primack notes the study did not prove that having social media issues causes depression, adding, “I would imagine personality and mental state would definitely play a role. In other words, someone who is already feeling left out and tender might be particularly vulnerable to online negativity. This brings up the potential for a vicious cycle.” Either way, he says he suggests “limiting overall social media exposure.”