Stay away from multiple social media platforms to avoid depression, anxietyIt is a common phenomenon of using more than one social platform but it is not healthy, warned a new study. Being in the network of a broader range of social media outlets may put
It is a common phenomenon of using more than one social platform but it is not healthy, warned a new study. Being in the network of a broader range of social media outlets may put one at an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
The study found that using multiple platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults.
The researchers found that people who report using seven to 11 social media platforms had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than their peers who use zero to two platforms, even after adjusting for the total time spent on social media overall.
Brian Pimack, lead of the study from the University of Pittsburgh Centre for Research on Media, Technology and Health in the US, said the association is so strong that clinicians could consider asking their patients about the number of social platforms they use.
Researchers sampled 1,787 US adults aged between 19 and 32, and used an established depression assessment tool and questionnaires to determine social media use.
The questionnaires asked about the 11 most popular social media platforms at the time: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.
Participants who used seven to 11 platforms had 3.1 times the odds of reporting higher levels of depressive symptoms than their counterparts who used zero to two platforms, said the study published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour.
Those who used the most platforms had 3.3 times the odds of high levels of anxiety symptoms than their peers who used the least number of platforms.
The researchers believe several factors may influence why multi-platform social media use may drive depression and anxiety:
Multitasking, as would happen when switching between platforms, is known to be related to poor cognitive and mental health outcomes.
The distinct set of unwritten rules, cultural assumptions and idiosyncrasies of each platform are increasingly difficult to navigate when the number of platforms used rises, which could lead to negative mood and emotions.
Moreover, there is more opportunity to commit a social media faux pas when using multiple platforms, which can lead to repeated embarrassments.
"It may be that people who suffer from symptoms of depression or anxiety, or both, tend to subsequently use a broader range of social media outlets. For example, they may be searching out multiple avenues for a setting that feels comfortable and accepting," Primack said.
"However, it could also be that trying to maintain a presence on multiple platforms may actually lead to depression and anxiety. More research will be needed to tease that apart," Primack noted.
(With IANS Inputs)