New study questions beliefs of social media use contributing to depression

New study questions beliefs of social media use contributing to depression

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Chances are you’re reading this story on a phone, from a link you clicked from your social media feed. 

There’s an additional chance you’ve heard that social media could be harmful to your health — particularly your mental health. 

Researchers at Texas State say that may not be the case. 

“We did not find any evidence that social media causes depression, other than a couple of reports on our study that says that it leads to depression — we didn’t find evidence of that,” said Andrew Robinson, a a second-year master’s student in psychological research at Texas State University. 

Robinson is leading research that may change what we once thought of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms.

“People who meet criteria for a major depressive disorder behave differently on social media than those who do not. So we did not find evidence that social media causes depression, we just looked at the associations of certain behaviors and depression in college students.”

Five-hundred and four students at Texas State were part of the study. The students ranged from economic and ethnic backgrounds. Robinson sadi the content itself that has the affect on the psyche. 

“If you are just scrolling through the news or looking at memes all day, is that really going to have a negative affect on you? It might in terms of you reaching out and having conversations with people in real life, but it’s really important to look at what we are actually doing on social media — not just the time spent on it.”

Additionally, Robinson says social media has been a boon for all. “Social media as whole, I wouldn’t say that it’s bad or I wouldn’t characterize it as a bad thing, its actually really great for society.”

 

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