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How Social Media is Linked with Depression


High use of social media is linked to depression and other mental disorders, such as anxiety and lack of focus, and can also impact physical well-being. The research tends to study the relationship between social media usage and depression. Depression is a feeling of sadness and loneliness. It affects the way we think and act. Depression is common among people who spend a lot of time on social media. Depression is caused by the need for approval, comparison, jealousy, and other factors that result when individuals use social media to interact, connect, and peep into the lives of other people on social media.

Research Summary:

The use of the internet and social media has increased with the passage of time. A rising number of children and teenagers use social media for various purposes, such as posting pictures and statues or even comparing themselves with others. The increase in social media usage has confronted various challenges for users. It has been estimated that about ninety-three percent of teenagers between the ages of twelve and seventeen use social media. This is a huge number. This particular category constitutes the highest number of individuals who use social media on a daily basis. On average, about seven hours are spent on social websites. Research studies suggest that about seventy-three percent of individuals living in America are exposed to at least one SMS in a day. About seventy-eight percent of adolescents have mobile phones. More than half of them own smartphones (Prinstein1, 2015). People use social media mainly because they fear missing out on something that might be entertaining and rewarding for others. People with this fear spend more time on social media. Such people develop a curiosity about what they see on social media. They keep themselves updated about the latest newsfeed and finally waste much of their precious time on social media (Zachary G. Baker, 2016).

There has been an increase in the number of mobile phone users and social media website users. Increased exposure to social media is linked to various outcomes such as lack of concentration, anxiety, and depression. Social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and others have allowed users to create a network where they can comment, post pictures and statuses, and perform other activities. Social media users have formed their virtual world online. This world is quite different from the accrual world in which they live. Association with social media is associated with both positive and negative results. People who are overly exposed to social media suffer from bullying, isolation, and episodes of depression. Social media, on the other side, provides a platform for users to self-disclose themselves and update others about what is happening in their lives and what they think. Social media enable users to express themselves and connect with the world. Increased use of social media impacts physical well-being as well as mental health. According to research, the high use of gadgets and other technology delays speech in children. Depression is one of the worst outcomes of the use of social media.

Anxiety and depression are among the worst outcomes of social media usage. Although social media websites are created to connect people and form a global village, the worst outcomes could occur due to overexposure. Extroverts who enjoy people around themselves and want to increase their social circle spend more time on social media. They want to be connected with people, and they need to interact with more people than others. Such people develop a greater need to be approved by society. They want people to accept them. However, if such approval is not received, these people suffer from anxiety and depression (Steers et al., 2016).

People of all genders will likely suffer from active and passive social media use. Active use refers to using social media to interact and connect with others. Passive use refers to the use in which social media users peep into the lives of others using social media platforms. Both active and passive users are likely to experience depression, a sense of loneliness, and anxiety. Depression causes a loss of interest, focus, and sadness and alters the way people think and act (Eggermont, Frison, & Steven, 2016).

Social media is defined as a group of social media websites and applications that allow users to share information and interact with one another. Depression is the leading cause of mental issues in America. It has been estimated that about eighty-three billion dollars will be spent to treat mental illnesses such as depression. Depression is also linked to other disorders such as sleeping, Eating disorders, anxiety, substance misuse, and even suicide. Productivity tends to decline with depression. A huge number of young people are addicted to social media. They use social media to stay connected but end up feeling sad, alone, and depressed (all., 2016).

Research Question:

To find the relationship between social media usage and depression among people of different ages.


The research will find how depression is linked to people who use social media. The findings will make a valuable contribution by suggesting which particular age group suffers the most from social media exposure and how such exposure can be reduced. Correlation and regression will show the relationship and strength between the independent variable (social media usage) and the dependent variable (depression).


Ho: there is no relationship between social media usage and depression

H1: there is a relationship between social media usage and depression



Eggermont, Frison, E., & Steven. (2016). Exploring the Relationships Between Different Types of Facebook Use, Perceived Online Social Support, and Adolescents’ Depressed Mood. Social Science Computer Review, 153-171.

Prinstein1, J. N. (2015). Using Social Media for Social Comparison and Feedback-Seeking: Gender and Popularity Moderate Associations with Depressive Symptoms. J Abnorm Child Psychol, 1427–1438.

Steers, M.-L. N., Quist, M. C., Bryan, J. L., Foster, D. W., Young, C. M., & Neighbors, C. (2016). I Want You to Like Me: Extraversion, Need for Approval, and Time on Facebook as Predictors of Anxiety. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 283-293.

Zachary G. Baker, H. K. (2016). Fear of Missing Out: Relationships With Depression, Mindfulness, and Physical Symptoms. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 275–282.



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