Social Media Doesn’t Make You Depressed And Lonely

Why cutting out Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat might not be the cure-all you’re looking for

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Pictured: Probably not depressing
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Is it really brunch anymore if it’s not on Insta?
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Pictured: Someone after deleting Snapchat, probably

The Science

The recent study that has caused all of these waves was looking at whether social media affects a variety of depression and anxiety markers. The scientists enrolled a group of undergraduate psychology students into either a normal or limited use group, and then followed them for a month. Normal users were instructed to continue to use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat as usual, with limited users told to only spend 10 mins a day on each site. Participants filled in surveys at the beginning and end that scored them on loneliness, depression, anxiety, FOMO, social support, autonomy, self-acceptance, and self esteem.

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Pictured: Terrifying (probably)

Fear And Facts

The reality is actually much less scary. There currently isn’t good evidence that social media directly causes depression or loneliness, and this study adds almost nothing to that conversation anyway.

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Pictured: Meaningless without methods

Fearmongering Failure

In some ways, it’s inevitable that we will fear social media. It is a change, and changes are always scary. It’s also based on people, and if there’s one thing we can be sure of it’s that people have both good and bad sides.

Nothing says “good mental health” like “Twitter Nazis”!

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