Researchers from the Public Policy Program at the University of Arkansas concluded that people who spend an excessive amount of time on social media are more likely to show high levels of depression six months later than those who don’t, Study Finds reports.
Curiously, despite displaying high degrees of success and positivity in their posts, months later many were struggling with depression.
The researchers came to this conclusion after studying 1,000 people between the ages of 18 and 30 in 2018.
Study Finds reports:
“Regardless of personality type, social media use increased the risk for future depression diagnoses. However, people who rated high in agreeableness were 49 percent less likely to become depressed than people with low agreeableness. When people with high neuroticism — being in a negative or anxious emotional state — spent over five hours on social media (300 minutes), they were twice as likely to develop depression than others.“
The researchers concluded that the depression was caused because people were comparing themselves to others who were also posting the highlights of their lives or when they were at their best.
According to the researchers, this “comparison breeds resentment and low self-esteem and social media may enhance these feelings, especially if you often explore negative content.”