Can the excessive use of social media lead to depression?

Can the excessive use of social media lead to depression?

Several studies have shown that excessive social media usage can increase the chances of one becoming depressed and feeling lonely.

Young woman on cellphone
Young woman on cellphone/ iStock

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat… those are just some of the platforms many of us spend a lot of our time on.

All day, every day we are exposed to the fabulous lives of those we know and those we idolise in the limelight. The more we are exposed to the good things in the lives of others, the more we are impacted ourselves.

As a result, we find ourselves comparing our not-so-perfect lives to the perfect lives of others posted on social media. This can result in unnecessary pressure and lead to feelings of depression and loneliness.

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A study by the University of Michigan observed 82 Facebook users during a two-week period and found that those who spend a lot of time on the social media platform felt more depressed. It also found that their feelings of well-being decreased.

This is not the only study that has proved this. 

Another study by the University of Pennsylvania also found that limiting social media use can decrease loneliness and depression.

Douglas Bloch, an author and depression survivor, says social media gives people a false sense of connection. It can never be compared to having engagement in the real world.

READ: Social media - Where everyone's an expert

In the video below, Bloch gives more reasons why the use of social media can lead to depression:

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