Study Shows Link Between Depression and Increased Social Media Use In Teens
A study conducted by researches at Montreal’s Saint-Justine Hospital in Canada has found a correlation between depression and the time teenagers spend using social media.
“Our research reveals that increased time spent using some forms of digital media in a given year predicts depressive symptoms within that same year,” Patricia Conrod, the research team’s lead said, in a press release on Monday.
The research team kept track of 4000 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 16, monitoring the use of social media, television, phone and computer use. The study showed that when there was an increase in social media use, there was also an increase in depression symptoms.
Much more research needs to be done to really understand the correlation between mental health issues and the new technology that we are now so much accustomed to. Teenagers still have brains that are not fully developed, and the truth is that there is not enough data to determine how much damage and developmental issues these things can cause. It is my belief that in the next ten years we are going to be seeing some other major issues arising from adults that spent too much time on social media and the Internet while young.
What can be done to protect children from the potential damages?
Parents need to be aware and closely monitor their children’s social media use, not only because of the mental health issues, but also because of the other dangers that this technology can posses. It is easy for kids to spend entire days on social media without parents even realizing it, especially in the months that they are out of school. Setting boundaries and schedules, giving them tasks that take them away from technology and even enrolling them in summer activities are great ways to keeping them happy and balanced.
Balance. That is the most important thing.