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How to Track U.S. News Using Social Media

Digital technology is overtaking traditional sources of information like newspapers, radio and television, and social media is now growing as a popular news source. It’s accessible through computers and smartphones for quick access to the latest news. Many users share the latest news and updates, further extending audience exposure.

Facebook leads social network in terms of users and as a news source. Facebook posts can link to a specific article and provide website referrals. The online articles and stories can be shared through Facebook, and comments can be made. Conversations ensue, and some stories go viral, reaching broad audiences. Many news sources have their own Facebook business accounts to post their stories to the public.

YouTube is a way to get news through videos, and the video links can be shared on other social media platforms. It’s a valuable news pathway, with nearly half the population using this social media platform. It’s also used for entertainment, such as music videos, exercise videos and demonstration videos for DIY projects.

Twitter and Instagram

Twitter is another social media news source. The following on Twitter isn’t as large as on Facebook and YouTube, but social media is an evolving industry. Tweets give snippets of news information to Twitter followers, and links can be included to redirect the user to a more lengthy news story. Tweets can also be shared. Instagram is a picture-sharing social media platform that can be used to share news as well.

Smartphone Apps

Smartphone apps for social media and news sources are another way to get news when it first becomes available. The user clicks on an icon to be directed to the desired platform. Researchers have discovered that about half of the people in the U.S. obtain news on their smartphones. Smartphones can also be set up to receive breaking news alerts.

Types of News

The types of news articles shared on social media vary. Entertainment, sports and community news rank high on the list, while government, politics, international news and crime stories are also popular news items. Weather, traffic and business news are also read and shared regularly. In recent times, readership has changed to the extent that many news sources are posting links to their articles directly on social media themselves.


essay on social media causing depression

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social media and depression link

Updated 18 April 2021

Subject Corporations ,  Movies

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Category Business ,  Entertainment ,  Information Science and Technology

Topic Facebook ,  Modern Technology ,  The Social Network

Technological advances and the advent of social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram have significantly altered the way we engage, socialize, and connect in today’s profoundly digital world. These websites help us make and maintain friends across borders. Although technologies and social media sites have obvious advantages, they can have obvious pitfalls. Individuals in today’s world, especially young people, spend the majority of their time sifting through social media pages. They miss out on the opportunity to develop the necessary social and emotional skills. They were also vulnerable to social media threats such as cyberbullying. Studies have shown that there is a positive link between the increased use of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with depression. A report published in Computers in Human Behavior in the year 2016 revealed that social media sites lead to negative mental outcomes like anxiety and depression. The research surveyed 1787 young individuals across the nation. They were interviewed on their use of eleven most popular social networking sites including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr and LinkedIn. The study showed that people who used seven or more social networking sites stood a high risk of suffering from mental issues such as depression and anxiety disorders. However, the risk was much lower in people who used less than two social media sites.

There are several possible explanations for the link between depression and the social media use. One plausible explanation is that individuals who use numerous social networking sites tend to multitask frequently. These people have to regularly switch from one social media site to another sometimes using multiple devices. Previous studies have shown a close association between poorer cognition, low attention span and moods disorders in people. Furthermore, depressed people begin to use social networking platforms more because they lack the motivation to engage in real-life social interactions. This is according to the director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Brian Primack. Dr. Primack argues that people start heavily utilizing social media as way drowning their negative thoughts, only to make the depression worse (Chowdhry, 2016).

Studies show that we have had a rise in depression rates from 8.7 percent to 11.3 percent between 2005 and 2015 among adolescents. There was also a rise from 8.8 to 9.8 in the same timeframe in young adults. Major depression is expressed in the form of sadness and loss of interest in important life activities. Major depression lasts for at least two weeks. Depressed people also express other signs and symptoms like irritability, lack of self-care, weight gain or loss, insomnia, physical exhaustion, social isolation, and suicidal feelings. Depression can negatively impact social interaction and cause poor performance in school and work.

Instagram has been singled as the worst social media platform in relation to depression. The social networking sites are heavily associated with emotional problems in teenagers and young adults. Although the site has some benefits like offering a platform for self-identity and expression, the risks associated with its use are also obvious. For instance, it can place a lot of pressure among people to conform to certain social and cultural standards (Chowdhry, 2016). It can also act as a platform for bullying. Social media photos and posts can create unrealistic standards and expectations, leading to a feeling of low self-esteem and self-adequacy of those who cannot meet the set expectations. Viewing people posting photos on Facebook and Instagram dressed in a specific or doing some enjoyable activity can make other people feel that their lives are not good enough. This is called compare and despair attitude. Social media gets us depressed through drawing comparisons between ourselves and others.

The fact that Instagram is the most harmful site when it comes to causing depression is hardly surprising. Instagram alongside SnapChat is more image-centered and could create a feeling poor self-image and esteem among the young people. Let us consider this scenario. Supposing one saw his or her friend enjoying a vacation in Portugal and having a completely happy life. He or she will begin feeling inadequate and wondering why other people are having a perfect experience while for them life is miserable. Using social media people begin drawing a negative comparison between their lives and the lives of other people. In most cases, social media portrays a false image of peoples’ lives. Most of the images on social media are often edited and distorted to portray a certain impression of people (Zilles, 2017). However, in real life, these people may be leaving a completely different life from the one expressed on social media sites. On social media people normally put their best on display, but this not usually an actual reflection of their real life. This culture of false portrayal on social media leads to unnecessary comparisons and anxiety in people (Zilles, 2017).

Then there is information overload that comes with increased use of social networking sites like Facebook. There are numerous social media sites on offer, and most of the people use at least two of these sites. Imagine the constant stream of information and notifications from about four social media sites in addition to information and notification from text messages and emails. This creates information overload leading to a feeling of overstimulation. The overwhelming nature of social media platforms can lead to anxiety and depression in people. Massive information inflow also creates a feeling of distraction. We live in a world where distraction is a huge problem. With information emanating from every corner, it is easy to pay attention to the wrong information while ignoring the right one. A study conducted by Harris revealed that people waste 38 percent of their work time scrolling and managing their social media accounts. There is also a significant chunk of time in our personal lives wasted on social media. An average person spends two hours in a single day going through different social media platforms. Too much time spend on social media sites, and the distraction that results leads to fewer accomplishments in personal and professional lives and reduced real-life social interactions. Low levels of attainment in life can create negative feelings and cause anxiety in people (Zagorski, 2017).

Social media platforms have significant emotional risks that cannot be ignored. Since bursting onto the scene in 2004, social networking site, Facebook has grown from humble beginnings to register over 1.71 billion active members by the year 2016. It has become a central tool for communication and interaction in an increasingly modern world (Vitelli, 2016). The dark side of this social networking site is only beginning to emerge. In this age where cases of cyber stalking and bullying have become rampant, Facebook has become a playground for such acts (Vitelli, 2016). On a daily basis, ladies, in particular, have to deal with unwanted attention from total strangers. The mental effects on the recipients of unwanted online attention are enormous. Victims of social media harassment feel depressed and some become suicidal. Social media sites also form platforms for rumors, unnecessary arguments, and propaganda that cause an adrenaline rush in users. This mostly happens during political debates. A sense of negativity can be spread through this site, creating negative feelings in that process.

There is the physical exhaustion and body pain that increased use of social media sites come with. There are problems associated with vision back and neck issues and the general sedentary life that increased use of social media causes. Excessive use of social media reduces time for physical exercises. The sedentary lifestyle that results from excess use of social networking sites leads to health conditions like obesity. This health conditions are in themselves risk factors for depression. General poor health is also a risk factor for depression.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat, are major causes of real-life social isolation. Although people feel virtually connected on social media sites real-life interaction with people are often affected if too much time is spent on this sites. Excessive use of social media also affects our ability to communicate. While it is true that social media sites can help us communicate across broad range of distances and update us on what is going on in other peoples’ lives, there are hidden costs that come with the extreme use of these sites (Baines). We limit interactions with those who are within our vicinities to communicate with others who are miles away. It is common to find people going through Facebook and Instagram during social gatherings. We now post everything we do on social sites, including the food we eat. As a result, we miss out on real conservations and create a sense of loneliness (Baines). Lack of person to person contact and interaction is a huge contributor to depression. Social media cannot provide the social support that people need when they are facing problems in life.

Excessive use of social media creates an addiction just like drugs and alcohol do. When people cannot access their popular social networking site for one reason or the other, they become so depressed and withdrawn just like an alcoholic who cannot access his or her bottle of beer. Sometimes they become very irritable and anxious. The need to develop and manage our personal outlook on social media gets people addicted. They also lose a lot of energy and time on these sites (Baines).

Social networking sites have increased the rate at which we interact with our day to day lives. They have created a connected world. We can now keep in touch with friends and family in a more convenient and fast way. Social media has also become an engine for information, passing information across the globe at bewildering speed. But beyond this, social media use has become a risk factor for depression among the young individuals. Issues of cyber bullying and cyber stalking have become rife in this age of social media. There is also the social and cultural pressure that is created on medial social sites. Social media sites have set certain standards in terms of how people should dress and how their bodies should look like. Those who cannot meet these expectations end up being depressed.

Baines, W. (n.d). 7 Ways Social Media is Making You Depressed. Beliefnet. Retrieved Oct. 23, 2017, from

Chowdhry, A. (2016). Research Links Heavy Facebook And Social Media Usage To Depression. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved Oct. 23, 2017, from

Vitelli, R. (2016). When Social Media Sparks Depression. Psychology Today. Retrieved Oct. 23, 2017, from

Zagorski, N. (2017). Using Many Social Media Platforms Linked With Depression, Anxiety Risk. American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved Oct. 23, 2017, from

Zilles, C. (2017). The Surprising Link Between Social Media And Depression. Socialmedia hq. Retrieved Oct. 23, 2017, from

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essay on social media causing depression

Social Media And Social Depression

Of jean m. twenge have smartphones destroyed a generation.

use of smartphones are affecting the adolescents of this generation. Jean M. Twenge argues in her article, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” that the redundant use of these gadgets along with social media use is in fact detrimental to the current and upcoming generations. My experience using Snapchat, Instagram, and other applications on my smartphone supports Twenge’s stance because the excessive use of these applications has caused me to feel melancholic. According to Twenge, “Psychologically, however, they (iGens) are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones” (Twenge). The essence of Twenge’s claim here is that smartphones are causing the iGen generation to be more susceptible to vulnerability in many aspects. In particular, the way it is affecting the mental health of iGens, thus causing the rates of teen depression and suicide to “skyrocket”. Ultimately, Twenge stresses that the excessive use of smartphones is the cause of the increase in rates of teen depression and suicide. Her observation rings true to me because while I do not suffer from depression nor have suicidal thoughts, I can still attest to the fact that as I’ve overused my smartphone

Argumentative Essay On The Book Thief

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More about Social Media And Social Depression


Effects Of Social Media On Social Depression And Anxiety

Social media isn t all that bad for kids analysis.

Did you know social media can change you? Social media can cause problems with your health? In the article, “Student examines negative effects of social media on teens” by Aurelie Krakowsky and “The Upside of Selfies: Social media isn’t all that bad for kids” by Kelly Wallace talks about social media, but clearly it’s harmful to people. Social media is for people to enjoy on a daily basis and be updated on what is happening in the world; however it can be harmful to your health and even your education. It can lower kids self esteem and make them feel uncomfortable about themselves. It can also cause health issues and distant yourself from the people around you.

Effects Of Social Media On Mental Health

The popularity of social media giants such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are on the rise and so is our nation's overall poor mental health status (The State of Mental Health in America). Studies have shown that there is a direct link between our social media obsession and our poor mental health (Walton). Social media can lead to feelings of comparison, jealousy and even delusional behavior. Another effect that social media has on our mental health is that it often leads to feelings of sadness and loneliness. Lastly, social media addiction is one of the many things that affects our mental health. Studies show that social media is often the cause of poor mental health, it can cause comparison, jealousy, loneliness and lastly addiction.

Social Media Negative Effects On Society

Social media has a substantial impact on individual’s personal psychological thoughts. In most cases, an individuals’ mental health will decline. This includes mental diseases such as suicidal thoughts and depression. Sexting and social network-induced obesity are other minor issues that is an effect of social media (Ramasubbu). On social media, the public strives to have the “perfect life” (Cummings). This can bring many problems such as body image, sleep deprivation, and insecurity to those that follow this mindset (Cummings). Cyberbullying is a horrible result of social media (Gaitho). Cyberbullying has mostly impacted younger generations on social media. However, many adults have cyberbullied as well. The effects of those who have been cyberbullied are not honorable. Cyberbullying can lower self-esteem and lead to much more extensive issues, such as suicide (Jung).

Negative Effects Of Social Media

The first thoughts that come to mind for many people regarding social media are quite unfavorable. Profiles on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, and photos on Instagram all tend to have a negative connotation because they are typically associated with isolation, narcissism, and mental illnesses. The impacts of social media are greatly determined by how a person uses it. While one person may lose themselves in the online world that social media creates, another may greatly benefit through meeting new people and learning about new topics, such as other cultures, political views, religions, etc., that can be introduced into their real lives outside of their online lives. Even though social media can be seen as a more disadvantageous contribution to society due to the loneliness and isolation it may cause, social media allows for a greater connection to the social and intellectual worlds. While social media provides a platform that amplifies social and intellectual isolation, it more importantly allows for people to connect to others and learn about different perspectives when used correctly.

T Thought Police By Jason Howie

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The Effects Of Social Media On Mental Health

In a growing world where technology has become an essential source of communication, special attention must be placed on the potential hazards of social media. The relationship between an individual’s social media habits and mental health is complex. In this report many concepts will be explored thoroughly such as, the effects of social media on mental health, how it is concerned with substance abuse, the advantages and disadvantages of social media and which social media site is cyberbullying occurred on the most.

The Positive Effect of Social Media Essay

Since the birth of social media people have argued whether it has a positive or negative effect on society. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give people a chance to stay connected. Although, with the power of social media comes the possibility of cyber bullying. While there are some negatives associated with social media, the positives in communication all around, has made the world stronger and a better place to live in.

Social Media Mental Illnesses

While the social media field gets larger with each generation, depression becomes more and more popular. This forms the question, “Does social media play a role in causing depression?” Because of social media’s large influence, I personally believe it is one of the many factors of depression and other mental illnesses. This is important because without more awareness of this problem, there will be more mental illness victims.

Social Media Impact On Self Esteem

Clarissa Silva article in the Huffington Post delves into social media’s impact on self-esteem. As a behavioral scientist, her interest in the matter relates to her field. She also gets the help of other experts Dr. Jennifer Rhodes, Natalia Lusinski, and Dr. Suzana Flores to help with her research. Silva states that “social media is linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills" (1). Then outlines her research findings using rhetorical appeals.

The Effects Of Social Media On Mental And Emotional Health

Social media seems to be one of the many hot topics of discussion recently, and consequently many people have the false sense of security that they have a profound knowledge on how it affects the health of the teenage population. A sedentary lifestyle, decreased sleep, as well as other physical health conditions seem to come to mind when one links health and social media. However, there is a much bigger problem that can go unnoticed because it can be impossible to see: the impact it has on mental and emotional health. These branches of health are just as important, and even arguably more important than physical health is. Social media can be utilized to connect with distant friends and express oneself; however, teenagers should refrain from the overuse of social media due to its detrimental effects on their mental and emotional health.

In 1971 the first email was sent. This was the beginning of social media. Social media is a form of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other contents. Social media sites are like fads where people eventually stop using them and move on to the next one. This essay will be about the effects of social media on the mental health of the main users of social media.

Causes And Effects Of Social Media

Some people may wonder what effect social media has on people worldwide. Many people are using social media daily and because of that, they might not know the effects that can be lurking behind a screen and causing harm to their mental health. Social media has many negative effects on mental health. Some people could think that mental health and social media has no relation, when it does. It is a fast-growing issue with many “cause and effect” reasons behind it. Each cause needs to be recognized along with the effect it has on the people who use social media.

Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media Essay

Despite the positives, there are many negatives associated with social media. Using social media can make a person more vulnerable to predators and cyber bullying. In this age, “Cyber bulling is quite common, can occur to any young person online, and can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and tragically suicide” (“American Academy of Pediatrics”). Cyber bullying impacts society in a negative way because it is harming young teenagers’ minds. Bullies, torment, threat, harass, and even embarrass their victims by using different forms of social media. Using social media can also decrease privacy for an individual. People often give out their personal information not knowing who can see it. To average internet users, “A false sense of security may leave social networking site users vulnerable to security attacks such as hacking, leaking sensitive information, and sending viruses” (“ProCon”). Furthermore, Social media can also lead to brain disorders and can cause people to have a hard time interacting with people face to face. “Social networking entices people to spend more time online and less time talking to a person face to face.” (“ProCon”)

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Social Media Essay

Social media is one of the most common ways for people to communicate anywhere and at any time in modern society. Some people think that it is beneficial to have in society. Although, many people are starting to see negative effects arise from the use of social media as well. These negative effects are increasing and becoming more problematic every day. The disadvantages of social media far outweigh the advantages. Social media effects everyone in society, especially teenagers by negatively impacting their lives, face-to-face interactions, and mental health.

Social Media and Its Impact on Social Behavior

Communication barriers are not the only issue that has been brought on by social media. Extensive social media use has also been known to affect a person’s self-esteem. Some individuals suffer from a low self-esteem and limit themselves to social media in hopes to create a different image of them. According to Charles Cooley, “The thing that moves us to pride or shame is not the mere mechanical reflection of ourselves, but an imputed sentiment, the imagined effect of this reflection upon another's mind" (Morine, 2009). For some teens and young adults, social media may help them open up and achieve a higher self-esteem. On the other hand, social media on other teens and young adults may have a completely opposite effect. In an article titled, Is Facebook Making Your Child Depressed, it is stated that social media websites such as Facebook “can create a skewed reality that makes teens feel alienated” (PR, 2012). When a person, that is not completely happy with their life, goes onto social media and reads all about other people enjoying a multitude of activities and enjoying their lives this could

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Social Media: Depression  essay

There  has been a point in someone’s life where they did not feel good enough. Everyone experiences not having the perfect body image, the perfect grades, or the popularity. Based off of a newsletter named “Healthline” they discovered that over 350 million people in the United States suffer from depression.  One thing that does not help is social media.

These filters allow the users to change the shape of their face, the way their eyes look, and become silly animals. According to Sherry Turkle, who is a professor of the social studies of science and technology, says that “not only do we let our phones determine what we do, we let it change who we are.” (Turkle, 2012) Social media creates a life inside a person’s phone that people become addicted too, and believe that it is the way to live, look, and act.  

Media is used way too much whether people like it or not. According to Sophia Smith, who is the author to a BBC article, states that the over use of social media is debated whether it is a mental health disorder or not. As of January 2018, the WHO (World Health Organization) identified video gaming as an addiction. (Smith, 2018) Before discussed even further, there are different types of social media that needs to be explained. The first social media that is the most popular is Facebook. Facebook, allows a user to post their own posts defining their day or thoughts. Facebook also allows pictures to be uploaded where their friends can like and comment on them. The number of friends a person has, defines their popularity. The next most popular social media app in the United States is Instagram. Although Instagram is very similar to Facebook, it is used in a different way. Like Facebook, pictures are posted where likes and comments are received, posts on Instagram are not allowed.

However, a “Story” can be uploaded where a picture or video can be seen up to 24 hours with writing that announces one’s feelings. Once again, the number of followers a user has identifies how popular that person is, it is just more obsessed with, to where people feel the need to purchase the followers they have. On Instagram, it allows people to create their own theme on their account, meaning that they can only post pictures that relate to the theme they picked.

The last social media to be discussed is Snapchat. Although it is not the most popular, it has its impacts. Snapchat creates filters that enhances the users face. Some of them can be “cute” animals such as the dog filter that changes a person’s nose with a dog nose and adds dog ears on top of the human head, and others are simple, such as, eyelash extensions and has the effect of a light self- tan. (Whiteman, 2015)

Depression is a mental disorder that makes a person feel unwanted, insecure, and extremely sad. Depression makes a person lazy and want to stay in a dark room all day. In the United States 350 million people are depressed. (Pietrangelo, 2015) There are several ways to help with depression even if it has obstacles. There is a website called “Suicide Forum” that helps with anxiety, depression, and suicide. On the website under each tab, there are several different articles from separate authors explaining their advice and their thoughts on what each disorder is. Suicide Forum provides an online chat room where people who are afraid to meet in person can talk and chat all over the world. The chat room allow people all around the world to exchange advice and personal problems. Although they open themselves up to complete strangers, it makes them feel like they are not alone, and that they have someone who cares for them. 

in teens is very common, 3.1 million teens have been depressed and experienced what it felt like. (Major Depression, 2017) Teenagers in this generation tend to interact with their phones and social media. A very common thing in high school is cyber bullying. Teenagers feel the need to bully their peers through social media. Not only will this cause depression, but in most cases even suicide. Katie Hurley created a short article based on how parents can help their teens with depression. Teenagers feel like they can not go to their parents and they feel alone but reading Hurley’s article showed wonderful advice on how make teenagers feel comfortable talking to their parents’. (Hurley, 2018)

Social media can not only affect teenagers, it can affect anyone in different age groups. Based on the people seen on Instagram posts or Snapchat stories, others tend to “want” to be them. People see the way others post and the number of likes and wonderful comments they receive, therefore, they feel the need to post like that. According to Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk video, she explains how people let phones control what we do. (Turkle, 2012) In the beginning of her video Turkle describes how a simple text can change a simple mood. Her example was her daughter sending a good luck text. Now this doesn’t just mean a positive text, it can be negative texts or negative posts they see on their phone. Although posts and texts are just through a cellular device, it can either ruin a persons’ day, or brighten it up. In conclusion, social media should not interfere with our daily lives. People should limit the amount of time they use for social media.

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How heavy Instagram and Facebook use may be affecting kids negatively

Writer: Caroline Miller

Clinical Experts: Jerry Bubrick, PhD , Alexandra Hamlet, PsyD

What You'll Learn

Studies show that depression among teenagers and young adults has gotten more common over the past decade. Social media use has also increased during the same time. It’s hard to say for sure that social media causes depression. Still, there are several ways that using social media could harm kids.

Some experts think that connecting with peers online is less emotionally fulfilling than connecting in person. Research shows that teenagers who spend more time on social media also feel more isolated. It could be that kids who already feel isolated use social media more. But it could be that using social media actually makes kids feel isolated.

Another theory is that social media is bad for teenagers’ self-esteem. Seeing lots of perfect pictures online might make kids (especially girls) view themselves negatively. Feeling bad about themselves can lead to depression.

Social media can also cut into the time that kids spend on activities that make them feel good, like exercise and hobbies. Additionally, it can distract from important tasks like homework. Having to juggle those responsibilities can increase kids’ stress. Studies also suggest that using social media at night interferes with restful sleep for many teenagers.

It’s important for parents to check in with kids about their social media use and help them develop healthy habits. You can encourage kids to turn off notifications, spend plenty of time on offline activities that make them feel good, and put phones away before bedtime. You can also set a good example by modeling balance in your own use of social media.

Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for signs of depression and get professional help if you’re worried. It’s especially important to check on kids who are under a lot of stress.

Is using social media making our kids unhappy? Evidence is mounting that there is a link between social media and depression . In several studies, teenage and young adult users who spend the most time on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms were shown to have a substantially (from 13 to 66 percent) higher rate of reported depression than those who spent the least time.

Does that mean that Instagram and TikTok are actually causing depression? These studies show a correlation, not causation. But it’s worth a serious look at how social media could be affecting teenagers and young adults negatively.

One reason the correlation seems more than coincidental is that an increase in depression occurred in tandem with the rise in smartphone use .

A 2017 study of over half a million eighth through 12th graders found that the number exhibiting high levels of depressive symptoms increased by 33 percent between 2010 and 2015. In the same period, the suicide rate for girls in that age group increased by 65 percent.

Smartphones were introduced in 2007, and by 2015 fully 92 percent of teens and young adults owned a smartphone . The rise in depressive symptoms correlates with smartphone adoption during that period, even when matched year by year, observes the study’s lead author, San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge, PhD.

Over that same time period there was a sharp spike in reports of students seeking help at college and university counseling centers, principally for depression and anxiety. Visits jumped 30 percent between 2010 and 2015 , and they’ve continued to rise since the pandemic.

Social media and depression

One of the biggest differences in the lives of current teenagers and young adults, compared to earlier generations, is that they spend much less time connecting with their peers in person and more time connecting electronically, principally through social media.

Some experts see the rise in depression as evidence that the connections social media users form electronically are less emotionally satisfying, leaving them feeling socially isolated.

“The less you are connected with human beings in a deep, empathic way, the less you’re really getting the benefits of a social interaction,” points out Alexandra Hamlet, PsyD, a clinical psychologist. “The more superficial it is, the less likely it’s going to cause you to feel connected, which is something we all need.”

Indeed, one exception to the depression correlation is girls who are high users of social media but also keep up a high level of face-to-face social interaction. The Twenge study showed that those girls who interact intensely offline as well as through social media don’t show the increase in depressive symptoms that those who interact less in person do.

And there are some teenagers who aren’t successful in connecting with peers offline, because they are isolated geographically or don’t feel accepted in their schools and local communities. For those kids, electronic connection can be lifesaving.

Social media and perceived isolation

Another study of a national sample of young adults (age 19-32) showed correlation between the time spent on social media and perceived social isolation (PSI). The authors noted that directionality can’t be determined. That is, “Do people feeling socially isolated spend more time on social media, or do more intense users develop PSI?”

If it’s the latter, they noted, “Is it because the individual is spending less time on more authentic social experiences that would decrease PSI? Or is it the nature of observing highly curated social feeds that they make you feel more excluded?”

Which brings us what we now call FOMO, or fear of missing out.

Jerry Bubrick , PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, observes that “FOMO is really the fear of not being connected to our social world, and that need to feel connected sometimes trumps whatever’s going on in the actual situation we’re in. The more we use social media, the less we think about being present in the moment.”

Instead we might be occupied with worrying why we weren’t invited to a party we’re seeing on Instagram, or making sure we don’t miss a single post from a friend. But if we’re always playing catch-up to endless online updates, we’re prioritizing social interactions that aren’t as emotionally rewarding and can actually make us feel more isolated.

Social media and self-esteem

Another theory about the increase in depression is the loss of self-esteem , especially in teenage girls, when they c ompare themselves negatively with artfully curated images of those who appear to be prettier, thinner, more popular and richer.

“Many girls are bombarded with their friends posting the most perfect pictures of themselves, or they’re following celebrities and influencers who do a lot of Photoshopping and have makeup and hair teams,” explains Dr. Hamlet. “If that’s their model for what is normal, it can be very hard on their self-confidence.”

Indeed, image-driven Instagram shows up in surveys as the platform that most leads young people to report feeling anxiety, depression and worries about body image.

Curation of a perfect image may not only make others feel inadequate, it’s unhealthy even for those who appear to be successful at it, notes Dr. Bubrick. “Kids spend so much time on social media trying to post what they think the world will think is a perfect life. Look at how happy I am! Look how beautiful I am! Without that they’re worried that their friends won’t accept them. They’re afraid of being rejected.” And if they are getting positive feedback from their social media accounts, they might worry that what their friends like isn’t the “real” them.

Less healthy activity

Another possible source of depression may be what teenagers are not doing during while they’re spending time on social media, including physical activity and things that generate a sense of accomplishment, like learning new skills and developing talents.

“If you’re spending a lot of time on your phone, you have less time for activities that can build confidence, a sense of achievement and connectedness,” explains Dr. Hamlet.

Kids who are spending a lot of time on devices are not getting much in return to make them feel good about themselves, she adds. “Yes, you get a little dopamine burst whenever you get a notification, or a like on a picture, or a follow request. But those things are addicting without being satisfying.”

Disrupted concentration

Another thing disrupted by social media is the process of doing homework and other tasks that require concentration. It’s become common for teenagers to engage with friends on social media at the same time they are studying. They take pride in being able to multi-task, but evidence shows that it cuts down on learning and performance.

“Basically, multitasking isn’t possible,” Dr. Hamlet notes. “What you end up doing is really just switching back and forth between two tasks rather quickly. There is a cost to the brain.” And with poorer concentration and constant interruption, homework takes substantially longer than it should, cutting into free time and adding to stress.

Sleep deprivation and depression

Some of the ways in which social media use impacts mood may be indirect. For instance, one of the most common contributors to depression in teenagers is sleep deprivation , which can be caused, or exacerbated, by social media.

Research shows that 60 percent of adolescents are looking at their phones in the last hour before sleep, and that they get on average an hour less sleep than their peers who don’t use their phones before bed. Blue light from electronic screens interferes with falling asleep ; on top of that, checking social media is not necessarily a relaxing or sleep-inducing activity. Scrolling on social media, notes Dr. Hamlet, can easily end up causing stress.

“Social media can have a profound effect on sleep,” adds Dr. Bubrick. “You have the intention to check Instagram or watch TikTok videos for 5 minutes, and the next thing you know 50 minutes are gone. You’re an hour behind in sleep, and more tired the next day. You find it harder to focus. You’re off your game, and it spirals from there .”

How to minimize negative effects of social media use

While we don’t yet have conclusive evidence that social media use actually causes depression, we do have plenty of warning signs that it may be affecting our kids negatively. So it’s smart for parents to check in regularly with kids about their social media use, to make sure it’s positive and healthy, and guide them towards ways to change it , if you think it’s not.

Also, be alert for symptoms of depression .  If you notice signs that your child might be depressed, take them seriously. Ask your child how they are doing, and don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with a mental health provider .

Steps you can take to ensure healthy social media use:

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Social Media as a Cause of Anxiety and Depression

Introduction, social media as an addiction, social media as a tool, a note of caution.

Anxiety and depression are considerable problems for US society and the international community. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA, n.d.), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses affecting almost 40 million adults in the US. These conditions also affect 25% of children from 12 to 18, which may lead to decreased academic performance, missing critical social activities, and substance abuse (ADAA, n.d.).

According to Bailey Parnell (2017), numerous studies have linked high social media (SM) use with high levels of anxiety and depression in adults and children. In her speech called “Is social media hurting your mental health?” Parnell (2017) claims that inappropriate use of SM may lead to considerable complications for mental health. In other words, SM use is not connected with adverse outcomes, while SM abuse may lead to addiction and mental health implications. Therefore, SM should not be seen as a negative phenomenon, it is a tool that is to be used with caution to promote positive change and experience.

In today’s society, SM is often viewed as an addiction because frequent SM users often demonstrate behaviors similar to those of substance abusers and alcoholics. According to Parnell (2017), with every unit of social currency, which are “likes” and “shares,” a person gets a little dose of dopamine. People experience withdrawal symptoms when they do not have access to their accounts (Parnell, 2017).

Moreover, SM users often experience problems controlling the time spent on the matter, and they always want to make one more post or check the likes one more time (Parnell, 2017). According to Hartney (2019), addictions are associated with the inability to stop using, obsession, and taking initial large doses. Considering these symptoms, SM use can be often viewed as an addiction since most of the people have witnessed similar behavior in chronic SM users.

Some people may have a higher chance of developing addictions than others. For instance, recent research demonstrates that extraversion, neuroticism, attachment style, and younger age are positively associated with developing SM addiction (Blackwell, Leaman, Tramposch, Osborne, & Liss, 2017). At the same time, almost all users are affected by the fear of missing out (FOMO), which is a certain addictive feature of SM (Blackwell et al., 2017).

As cited by Parnell (2017), 70% of students of Canadian Universities claim that they would stop using SM if they were not afraid of being ‘out of the loop.’ The fact that SM use has addictive features similar to drugs having addictive constituencies makes people believe that SM users will develop an addiction at a point in time.

However, not all the people using SM develop addictions, which is confirmed by numerous studies. Parnell (2017) claims that almost 90% of 18- to 29-year-olds are on social media, but only some of them develop addictions. While there are no official statistics, it seems evident that extreme addictive behaviors are not common among SM users. SM is generally used to maintain and develop relationships, which is a neutral action.

Moreover, recent research shows that there is no statistically significant correlation between SM use and satisfaction with life (Hawi & Samaha, 2016). The analysis shows that it is poor self-esteem that causes depression and anxiety associated with SM abuse and not SM use itself (Hawi & Samaha, 2016). Therefore, healthy online behaviors, such as using it for reassurance and motivation, may lead to positive personal changes.

Instead of being viewed as an addictive substance, SM can be considered to be a drug that should be used carefully to avoid side effects. Talking to people online, sharing a positive experience, reassuring peers, or looking at funny pictures is not a bad thing. Instead, it can help people to overcome their fears, improve their mood, and find motivation. However, abuse will lead to a negative experience, similar to drug overdose or improper use.

Following the rules is the key to receiving all the benefits and avoiding the side effects of both drugs and SM use. Parnell (2017) offers a coherent framework for averted adverse outcomes, which may be treated as a general guideline. It includes recognizing the problem, auditing social media diet, creating a better online experience, and modeling good behavior. While these steps seem intuitive, it is vital that they are formulated and maintained to ensure positive outcomes.

While the negative impact of SM is widely discussed, the benefits of social media are undeniable. In her speech, Parnell (2017) refers to SM as “the most recent tool we use to do what we have always done: tell stories and communicate with each other” (11:03). Indeed, people use SM to keep in touch with distant relatives or friends, create study and groups, learn essential job skills, and express themselves (Smart Social, 2019). SM can also be utilized to spread social awareness and kindness or promote civic engagement (Smart Social, 2019).

In other words, SM is a tool that can help to address the public, find followers or like-minded people, and share happiness. A recent study proved that the use of SM by adolescents improves their ability to understand and share the feelings of their peers (Vossen, & Valkenburg, 2016). The research can be characterized by high validity and reliability due to its longitudinal design. Therefore, instead of emphasizing the dark side of the phenomenon, people may need to focus on promoting positive behavior and empathy.

SM is also a powerful instrument used by marketing and public relations managers to assess and address the needs of potential customers. Duffett (2017) states that SM marketing communications have a positive on each attitude component among adolescents.

SM is convenient since most of the merchandise and services can be ordered using SM websites. Moreover, SM helps to share feedback and experience about products, which helps to avoid dishonest service providers. Increased participation and responsiveness is associated with improved customer satisfaction, which increases the possibility of second sales (Agnihotri, Dingus, Hu, & Krush, 2016). In short, SM is a convenient tool used by business people to sell their products and address their customers.

Instead of considering SM a drug with the possibility of side effects and addiction, it is better viewed as an instrument, which can harm if misused. One cannot cook without a knife, but a malicious intent can turn the tool into a weapon. Cars are vital for moving around the country, but an unskilled driver can take the lives of innocent people in an accident. SM used by people with unprepared minds is similar to tools being used by untrained people. The risk of adverse events may be averted by receiving a proper education, and Parnell’s four-step framework may help to establish the principles of such education.

While SM should be viewed as a powerful tool, which can facilitate positive change, it should be used with caution. Knowing about side effects is only the first step to averting them. Almost everyone in modern society knows about the side effect of addictions or unsafe driving. However, addicts are known to be arrogant and self-reliant, which can become a considerable barrier to recovery (Nowinski, Baker, & Carroll, 1998).

Learning is worthless if a person fails to believe in what he or she has learned and implement the findings. According to Blackwell et al. (2017), the possibility of addiction to SM decreases with age; therefore, parents and adults may need to take responsibility for the younger generation and help them gain sufficient coping strategies. As Parnell (2017) mentions, people should practice “safe social” to share all the benefits and avert all the adverse effects. In summary, SM requires cautiousness and responsibility to stay harmless.

The adverse effects of SM are widely discussed in the current literature. Its improper use may be associated with addiction-like symptoms and lead to anxiety and depression. However, instead of thinking of the SM as an addictive drug, it can be treated as a useful tool, which can cause harm if misused. Instead of focusing on the negative side of the phenomenon, the benefits of SM are to be emphasized. SM can be used for learning, sharing experiences, and expressing empathy. Moreover, it can be used to promote products or services efficiently. However, people are to be taught effective strategies and skills to cope with threats, such as FOMO, which leads to addiction.

Agnihotri, R., Dingus, R., Hu, M. Y., & Krush, M. T. (2016). Social media: Influencing customer satisfaction in B2B sales. Industrial Marketing Management , 53 , 172-180.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Facts & Statistics . Web.

Blackwell, D., Leaman, C., Tramposch, R., Osborne, C., & Liss, M. (2017). Extraversion, neuroticism, attachment style and fear of missing out as predictors of social media use and addiction. Personality and Individual Differences , 116 , 69-72.

Duffett, R. G. (2017). Influence of social media marketing communications on young consumers’ attitudes. Young Consumers , 18 (1), 19-39.

Hartney, E. (2019). Signs and symptoms of addiction . Verywell Mind. Web.

Hawi, N. S., & Samaha, M. (2016). The relations among social media addiction, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in university students. Social Science Computer Review, 35 (5), 576–586. Web.

Nowinski, J., Baker, S., & Carroll, K. (1998). Twelve step facilitation therapy manual . Web.

Parnell, B. (2017). Is social media hurting your mental health? Web.

Smart Social. (2019). 10 examples of the positive impact of social media. Web.

Vossen, H. G., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2016). Do social media foster or curtail adolescents’ empathy? A longitudinal study. Computers in Human Behavior , 63 , 118-124.

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Essay Service Examples Sociology Effects of Social Media

Social Media and Mental Health Essay

Social media is a revolutionary platform on internet which drastically changed overall view of the world and has become an integral part of our society. Due to evolution and expansion of technology social media is becoming a vital tool for daily social interaction. The significance of social media in our world can be realized by the fact that nearly 2.65 Billion people on internet use this platform and this number is estimated to grow in upcoming years (Clement, 2019). Social media has brought a lot of benefits to our society however, social media has a considerable amount of negative impact on the youth. Social media has adversely affected the mental health of the teenagers and is turning them into antisocial generation.

How Social Media Affects Mental Health?

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have become immensely popular among teenagers. Frequent use of these sites causes an adverse effect on the mental health of the young adults and due to this mental disorder have become more common among this age group. A study shows that 14 -17 years old who use social media more than 7 hours were more than twice likely to suffer from depression (Twenge & Campbell, 2018). As teens use most of their time on social networking sites observing images and content posted by their peers which give rise to social comparison (“The Effect of Social Media on Teenagers”, 2019). Therefore, it enables youngsters to over analyze themselves and have negative impact on their self-esteem and body image which can lead to depression and anxiety. However, nearly 43 percent teenagers feel pressure while posting content on social media that makes them look good (Anderson and Jiang, 2018).

Nowadays, teens have become addictive to social media to such an extent that they sacrifice their valuable sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked to major mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. A study on high school students shows that each hour of lost sleep was associated with 38 percent in risk of feeling sad and 58 percent increase in suicidal event (“How technology and Sleep Deprivation Affects Teens”, 2018). Due to lack of sleep teens become more aggressive, irritable and suffer from lack of concentration which leads to poor academic performance. Moreover, social media has become an addiction. Like other addiction behaviour brain responds to social media with release of dopamine which gives them a sense of reward (“How technology and Sleep Deprivation Affects Teens”, 2018). Teens become overly concerned about their social media accounts and tend to log on uncontrollably leaving behind important tasks (Hillard,2019). Hence, this addiction of social networking sites can not only damage mental wellbeing of teens but can also affect their future. The addiction of social networking also has great impact on teens physical health, as teens spend most of their time on various social platforms, they don’t do any kind of physical activities such as playing outdoor games, running and exercise. Due of lack of physical activity youngsters are vulnerable to various heart diseases, several cancers and most common obesity.

essay on social media causing depression

Effects of Social Media on Communication

Social media has enabled communication to be effective and efficient, but it also has negative implications associated with social communication and social skills of youth. It is affecting relationship and degrades the quality of interpersonal communication. Youngsters are spending much time on social media which cause physical isolation and a lack of face-to-face communication. There is a drastic shift in the way teens communicate today than 6 years back, most teens now prefer texting friends rather than talking to them face-to-face (Stenmetz, 2018). As most of the interaction takes place online teens feel less nervous while talking and sharing ideas online. Also, they tend to spend time less time with their friends in person, due to which they lack social and communication skills. For teens communication skills are not only important for daily interactions but also plays a significant role for success in their future careers. Besides decreasing the amount of face to face interaction, social networking usages also reduce the quality of their social interaction. As teens prefer to stay online most of the time, they are not able to spend quality time with their friends and family. This leads to poor communication between their loved ones which not only damage the essence of their relationship but may also destroy it.

Nowadays social media has become most common platform for social interaction. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat allow people to stay connected to each other by sharing events of their lives by posting photos and status updates. Regardless of the location around the globe these sites allow users to directly communicate with their family members and loved ones online via video calls or voice calls. According to a survey 67% feel closer to friends and family because of social media (Heimlich, 2011). Moreover, social media is a great tool for connecting students living abroad with families. Social networking sites have helped international students to deal with common psychological challenges such as homesickness and loneliness. Nearly 78.9% international students believe that social media has helped them adjust to living abroad (Straumsheim, 2014). So., social media platform helps people to connect with share information with each other.

Effects of Social Media on Cyberbullying

In the past few years social networking has taken bullying to the extreme. Prior to social media teens were agitated by school bullies, but today they are targeted by bullies via internet. Generally, a cyber bully is referred as the use of social media platforms for communicating false, embarrassing and hostile information of specific user (Prajapati, 2019). Cyberbullying has become very common in teens. According to a survey nearly 59% US teens have been bullied and harassed online (Anderson, 2018). The act of cyberbullying consists of spreading rumours and lies, posting private photos and sensitive information of a student without consent. One thing that makes cyberbullying more harmful than the traditional bullying is the anonymity. Cyberbullies use fake identities to humiliate and threaten others, which helps them protect their true identity and motivates them to continue bullying other people. Just like other victims of bullying, cyberbullying can be traumatic. Cyberbullied teens experience fear, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem (Gordon, 2019). In addition to this, students may lose interest in the activities they use to enjoy, stop spending time with their friend and in the extreme cases they may commit suicide. As internet is present everywhere cyberbullying feels permanent and victims of cyberbullying often find it difficult to feel safe even at their homes. The effects of cyberbullying give a clear indication of direct relationship between cyberbullying and depression.

As technology is growing social media has become an imperative part of our society. Social media has proved to have both positive and negative impact on youth. However, social networking sites have a negative effect on teens mental health as frequent use of these sites causes mental disorders such depression, anxiety and sleep deprivation. Although social media has enhanced our connectivity, it is also causing a decline in social and communication skills. Due to excess use of social networking sites the quality of relationships has dramatically declined. Further, cyberbullying has also emerged as negative effect on social media which has increased rapidly in the past few years causing mental distress among teens.

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Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites are part of our daily life. Social media technology may have some positive effects, but there are also adverse effects we are facing due to social media. Because of social media, many people face different problems like relationship problems, fake ids problems and lack of interests in education and their jobs. My aunt had a horrible experience on social media. Someone made a fake id by using her name and added all family...

The rising acceptance of social media devices has contributed to a rapid rise in screen time exposure for children. The total daily screen time of smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions, and video game consoles for adolescents 8- to 18-years-old, has risen from 5 to 7.5 hours since 1999, this exceeds the recommendation of 2 hours or less by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Sanders). A teenager may not think they are spending that much of their time on social media or...

Social media has become an integral aspect of individuals’ lives including young adults. With the rise in the use of technology, young adults have been noted to use a form of a. social media while performing a cognitive task which is known as media multitasking. This can be seen as college students listen to music while they study or have a social media website open on their laptops during class. Lack of attention retainability, susceptibility to errors, and memory distortions...

Throughout the years, school violence has not only left scars in our society but in our entire nation. Other than home, schools are the single most important place in the development of teenagers and children, schools are supposed to be a safe haven. Teens and children are taught how to grow socially and school provides opportunities to reach milestones to become the people we will be today and in our future. Simple things such as religion, sexuality, and race can...

People use social media for a variety of reasons. But does anyone ever stop to think about the negative impact that social media has on a person, persons or generation? Why social media is bad? Two essays, The Onion’s “New Facebook notifications alert users when they not currently looking at Facebook” and Kat Ascharya’s “What Facebook is doing to your brain is kind of shocking” support and explain how social media impacts people in a negative way. The lack of...

Social media must be restricted as it leads to depression, anxiety and can sometimes make young people think about committing suicide because of cyber-bullying. Intro Social media and its usage have skyrocketed within the last decade or so (Perrin, 2015). This has also, unfortunately, led to increases in cyber-bullying, depression and suicide attempts (mHealth, 2016). The most common users of social media are younger people aged 16 to 24, with 91% using the internet for socializing (Royal Society For Public...

Social media is a pool of all virtual communication platforms that are focused to public based contribution, sharing of content, and association. Applications, social bookmarking, micro blogging, websites, YouTube, Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn, Snap chat, Skype and Twitter. All these media platforms are internet based and ends up giving quick and reliable message to the users. These social platforms have continued to favor the universe in many ways depending with the interest of the users thus leading to many effects in...

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Social Media Depression Essay

essay on social media causing depression

Show More Social Media Depression One out of every three adolescents experiences cyberbullying in his or her lifetime. One out of five young adults has also cyberbullied another person. A clinical trial recently proved the fact that social media and depression are linked and that social media depression is pervasive in the lives of teens and young adults. According to doctors Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson in the clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “‘Facebook depression,’ defined as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression.” Social media depression can be similar to common depressions, …show more content… Many pediatricians now look to parents to limit children and adolescent use and availability of social media. “In the area of social media use among children and adolescents, she advises parents to look at their children’s social media use in the context of their entire lives”(Mental Health Weekly Digest). Obstacles around social media limits are significant. Teens have a lot of free time, time used for internet surfing, making it hard for parents to have any effect. Problems within these limits stem from a parent’s lack of technological knowledge and experience with social media. “Pediatricians are in a unique position to educate families about both the complexities of the digital world and the challenging social and health issues that online youth experience by encouraging families to face the core issues of bullying, popularity and status, depression and social anxiety, risk-taking, and sexual development”(O’Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson). Technological advances have created apps for everything, increasing time on a phone or tablet. Many adolescents fear missing out on things surrounding social media. “‘The intensity of the online world is thought to be a factor that may trigger depression in some adolescents’”(O’Keeffe). Constantly refreshing Twitter and Facebook, teens commonly wait for posts and wonder through social media out of …show more content… “Researchers disagree on whether Facebook depression is an extension of clinical symptoms of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition”(CBC News). It is hard to distinguish differences between clinical and facebook depression, which can be brought about from similar sources. Isolationism and bullying can be important factors in both cases. “...they found no significant associations between social media use and the probability of depression”(Mental Health Weekly Digest). Social media is a fun way to share pictures and feelings among an atmosphere of friends. Many tweens and teens are addicted to social media and phone use. Constant knowledge of social media updates are necessary to staying in touch with the digital world. “...many of us are addicted to it-and why not, for it is the quickest way to contact our friends and make a long ‘friend’s

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essay on social media causing depression

English Essay Writing Topic – Ill Effects of Social Media: A cause of Anxiety and Depression

  The majority of people in today’s world love to spend their time on social media. Most of them consider their smartphones as their virtual companion. In recent years, the craze of staying updated with the social media world has immensely increased. Research has shown that the excessive use of social media has adversely affected the psychological well-being of children. Additionally, the COVID-19 outbreak in the world, followed by the nationwide lockdowns and the closure of schools, has forced children to stay indoors. This situation has worked as a trigger for young minds. 

Due to limited access to outdoor activities, children became more addicted to social media as it was their only alternative to stay connected with the outside world. According to many studies , social media has some serious consequences such as substance abuse, bullying, low self-esteem, self-harming tendencies, and poor body-image concerns. It can also increase the risk of developing several mental health problems, including anxiety disorder and depression. But before understanding how social media affects children’s psychological health, let’s know first what social media is. 

What is Social Media?

Relationship between Social Media and Mental Health

Effects of social media on young minds, what are anxiety and depression, ways to treat childhood depression and anxiety due to excessive social media use.

In simple words, social media is a virtual platform where one can build virtual networks or virtually connect with different types of people by sharing their thoughts, ideas, information, and more. It is a computer-based technology that has gained immense popularity among every age group. It is the only platform that allows people to connect and engage with their respective target audience – even if they belong to another side of the world. 

People usually use different social media platforms to share pictures, significant life events, and their thoughts on various topics. But many people use social media as a professional tool to fulfill their professional requirements. For example, a small business owner can reach his target audience and promote his products via social media platforms. It can help him in extending his business in the future. Additionally, many students use social media for their educational requirements, while others use it only for entertainment purposes. In the last few years, social media has become an integral part of our communication process. While it offers numerous advantages and benefits in this ever-competitive world, it can have a lot of serious consequences when used excessively or for harmful purposes. Here are some of the most common uses of social media:   Top  

The common uses of Social Media 


  As we all know, human beings are social creatures, and they seek companionship in every possible way they can. The connections or bondings we make during our lifetime play a pivotal role in our psychological well-being and overall happiness. In today’s world, social media has become the only platform that allows us to communicate with different types of people. It provides us with a virtual and versatile platform where we can socially connect with others. And this helps us to relieve stress and anxiety, boosts our self-confidence, prevents us from feeling lonely, and most importantly, offers comfort and happiness. But anything that becomes an addiction because of extreme dependability can be harmful to one’s physical and mental health. This theory goes the same with social media as well. 

Nowadays, many of us depend on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to find new people and make new connections with them. This practice may have many benefits, but we have to remember one thing that social media can never be the replacement for real-world communications or bondings. In-person communications can trigger happy hormones in us, and we eventually feel stress-free, healthier, and more positive. But social media is a technology, and it can never provide the same benefit in-person communication does. 

Researchers say that spending too much time using social media can negatively affect our emotional health. A recent 2020 NCBI research paper has found a strong link between excessive use of social media and the increased risk of developing mental health problems. It explained that children who excessively use social media tend to develop anxiety and depression symptoms during their teenage. The time spent on social media plays a significant role in developing such psychological issues. Another 2021 study claimed that people who deactivated their Facebook accounts felt less stressed than those who remained active on Facebook. Many studies have found that social media exposure has increased for kids in the last few years, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak in the world. 

The Facebook Whistleblower scandal in 2021 has revealed that social media platforms are unhealthy for children’s psychological well-being. The documents have claimed that image-sharing platforms like Instagram and Snapchat negatively affect kids’ body image and self-esteem. Such platforms often create impractical views about people’s physical looks by promoting unrealistic beauty filters and effects. These documents have also revealed that many children and teens have developed body dysmorphia after using those beauty filters excessively. Body dysmorphia refers to a psychological condition in which a person feels anxious about any perceived flaw or defect in their physical appearance. This situation has led to parents being more concerned about how social media platforms and increased screen time will affect their kids or teens later in life.    Top  

  We may feel great staying up-to-date and keeping in touch with friends, but excessive use of social media can also trigger anxiety, loneliness, depression, and other emotional issues. Children who use social media are more likely to experience peer pressure, followed by many mental health problems. Social media has numerous negative impacts on our life and society. It affects kids’ mental health very easily due to their vulnerability regarding certain developmental aspects of life. Let’s know how it negatively affects kids. 

1. Anxiety 

Research has shown that increased screen time increases the risk of developing anxiety symptoms in children. Kids who spend more than three hours using the internet tend to hesitate while sharing their problems with others. They become more curious about knowing other people’s activities. They often hesitate to spend time with their friends and family. They gradually become moody and feel irritated and isolated more often. And this overall situation leads to them developing anxiety disorders.   

2. Depression

A study conducted by American Psychological Association (APA) has found that kids who spend more time using electronic gadgets and don’t involve themselves in outdoor sports, exercise, or social interactions are more likely to experience depression-related symptoms. The study claimed that kids who spent more time in non-screen activities are more likely to be happier. Similarly, children who spend five hours daily using the internet and social media are two times more likely to be diagnosed with social media depression. Social media depression is a kind of emotional disturbance that a child may experience when they feel inferior in their social media world.   

3. Poor body image

Social media often set unrealistic beauty standards and create unreal views about physical appearance. Due to children’s vulnerability, they easily become victims of social media peer pressure. Using beauty filters and effects while capturing or sharing their photos negatively impacts their body image. 

4. Cyberbullying

In the last few years, cyberbullying has become one of the most common terms for social media users. Studies revealed that young girls are more likely to be targeted than boys while using social media. Researchers have found a significant relationship between the experience of cyberbullying and mental health problems. Children or teens who experience cyberbullying have an increased risk of developing several psychological issues, including depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem, social isolation, and suicidal thoughts.   

5. Lower self-esteem

Social media is a virtual platform where one can know about others without communicating with them. Many people follow their favorite celebrities on social media platforms. They often try to imitate their favorite celebrity’s looks. Unfortunately, this imitation makes them feel insecure about their physical appearance. It affects their self-confidence and self-esteem.   

6. Internet addiction

According to a Digital Wellbeing survey, excessive use of social media can transform into addiction, followed by other psychological disorders. The survey showed that children and teens who excessively use the internet experience negative impacts on their interpersonal relationships, daily activities, and overall well-being. 

7. Sleep deprivation 

Screen time at night can lead to a child developing sleeping disorders. Kids aged between 5-10 years should have a sound sleep of 9-11 hours every night. Using electronic gadgets before bedtime can disrupt their sleep cycle. Many studies have found that social media is one of the leading causes of sleep deprivation in children. Additionally, inadequate sleep can cause other psychological issues in children, including behavioral disorders, depression, poor concentration, lack of energy, and poor academic performance.   

8. Social isolation 

Children who spend most of their time using mobile phones are more likely to suffer from social isolation. Being engaged in screen activities, they often prevent themselves from involving in other social activities. When children or teenagers see pictures or videos of others on social media, they start to compare their lifestyle with others. And this comparison makes them feel more anxious. This feeling is known as ‘fear-of-missing-out’ (FOMO). It can be a leading cause of children feeling socially isolated. 

Apart from the above-mentioned negative effects of social media on young minds, it can have some other serious mental health consequences, including:

  Anxiety and depression are two of the most common negative effects of social media on children. Moreover, these two mental health problems can be observed in almost every child nowadays. These psychological disorders can have more serious consequences if not treated when needed. Thus, it is important to first know about these two psychological issues. 

1. What is anxiety? 

In simple words, anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress-related events. It is a feeling of fear and worries that we experience while going through stress. But in extreme cases, it can disrupt our emotional well-being. People with anxiety-related issues have excessive and intense worry and fear about simple everyday events. American Psychological Association (APA) has explained that anxiety can be characterized by a feeling of worrying thoughts and intense fear. This feeling often comes with a few physical changes, including shivering, sweating, and increased blood pressure. If a person experiences anxiety regularly, it might become a psychological disorder that may require medical attention. 

2. What is depression?

Depression, medically known as major depressive disorder, is a very common mental health problem that can be observed in people of every age group. It adversely affects a person’s thought process, behavior, emotional well-being, and daily activities. Many mental health specialists consider depression a kind of mood disorder.  A depressed person tends to experience a persistent feeling of sadness without any proper reason and has a loss of interest in daily activities. It is quite normal for a person to feel depressed at times due to any significant life event. But if the psychological condition becomes chronic, it can be a serious medical concern. However, anxiety and depression should be treated with proper medical supervision by mental health professionals.    Top  

  Researchers argue that depression and anxiety are very common among children due to social media exposure. If such mental health conditions become chronic, parents should immediately consult with a child therapist. Talking therapies (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) are proved to be one of the most effective methods to treat childhood depression and anxiety. But there are other few ways with the help of which parents can treat their children or teens’ depression and anxiety. Here are some effective ways parents can help their children regarding such matters: 

  In the last few years, social media has become the part-and-parcel of our daily life. Additionally, the usage of the internet among children and teens is gradually increasing day by day. While it makes one feel connected with the outside world, it has some negative impacts on a child’s mental health. Thus, the parents need to limit their screen time and seek medical help if their children suffer from any mental health problems due to social media use.    Top   Recommended Read

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Social Networking and Depression Argumentative Essay

Studies show that social networking has a potential of causing depression and the more individuals use social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, the more they are filled with anxiety leading to depression. In the University of Michigan, a study was conducted with a sample of eighty-two Facebook users in a period of two weeks.

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The findings of the study confirmed that once an individual engages in social networking, his or her feeling of safety goes down and depression mood emerges meaning that a correlation between depression and social networking exists (Harris 81). Unlike other forms of social networking, such as chatting with friends, social sites offer invaluable data that are incapable of fulfilling an individual needs, such as security and safety.

If an individual spends more time on Facebook, he or she might end up depressed the whole day because of anxiety (Myers 17). Apart from causing depression, social networking may cause the fear of missing out because an individual feels rejected and neglected once his or her message or information is not taken positively. Some users may criticize the views of an individual, yet no chance is given to defend the idea.

While on Facebook or Twitter, an individual feels inadequate or insufficient because one person might post a good picture showing magnificent vacation, luxurious purchases, and gorgeous children. In case an individual does not have the means to achieve his or her ambitions, he or she might be jealous and might be resentful since good things are happening in the lives of others while suffering might be the characteristic of his or her life.

In a different study conducted in Sweden at the University of Gothenburg that interviewed 111 Facebook users, it was established that internet networking has an effect on the self-esteem of an individual, as well as his relationships with others (Noor and Hendricks 64). Individuals spending more time on Facebook and other social sites have low sense of worth.

Additionally, social networking causes narcissism because users spend too much time and resources for decoration of their pictures and modifying their profiles in order to gain approval and praise. If an individual posts a status update on Facebook or Twitter and no person is interested in commenting, there would be a high likelihood that an individual will be worried because he will not understand some of the reasons why others are reluctant to respond.

Scholars, artists, politicians, and other professionals might be tempted to post something related to their achievements, such as published works or won award. Such individuals would be affected greatly in case someone decides to post something negative (Noor and Hendricks 67). Many people end up spending sleepless nights because of a negative comment that someone posted on Facebook or Twitter.

Continued usage of the social media contributes to the erosion of true relationships because it is difficult for individuals to interact face-to-face, as the traditional form of interaction is being replaced by shallow and meaningless online connections. Studies show that this is damaging the well-being of society since human need for true relationship is difficult to find (Myers 48).

Since individuals are incapable of finding authentic relationships and love, they tend to turn to the social sites for consolation. Instead of being comforted, the social media only serves one purpose that is related to depression and mental illnesses. In the modern society, it is common to find an idle person on Fcaebook or Twitter since it is believed to keep a person active.

The modern society is characterized by uncertainties and disappointments and people report all these in the social sites. For instance, of all the internet users, one or two people will report losing a job or breaking up a relationship. Again, the death of an individual will always be noticed, particularly when the person is famous.

Through the social sites, an individual realizes that it is so easy to lose a job or break up in a relationship, something that brings about anxiety. If the death of a famous person is reported, sadness mood comes in because there would be a feeling of loss. Some internet users develop a culture of judging others, irrespective of whether their post is accurate or not. In other words, they simply spread propaganda and falsehood once they realize that their ambition cannot be realized (Myers 75).

For instance, one person might fail to convince another to enter into a deal or relationship. Instead of accepting the outcome and moving on, he or she would go a notch higher to comment negatively on the social media, something that might attract a penalty or revenge. In many parts of the world, online wars are widespread whereby individuals are unwilling to concede defeat and continue with lives.

This has brought about many challenges because a negative comment is given to an individual with children and a stable family. Recently, a picture of a famous politician engaging extra marital relationships was posted on the social media, yet the leader has children and a good family (Kaplan and Haenlein 68). This causes depression to many people who feel disappointed and cheated. Even though the information posted might be inaccurate, it would be difficult for other users to change their minds once they have the picture.

In order to network with a friend, a social media user must send a friend request and wait for a response. An individual will definitely be depressed in case a response is not sent in time. Social networking isolates an individual from the rest of the community because most of the time is spent chatting with online friends who might have nothing to add to an individual’s life. Many young people are simply interested with popularity and they believe that having many friends in Facebook or Twitter makes them more famous.

In reality, this does not add any value to life because friendship has to be of high quality meaning that adequate assistance can be offered when necessary. An individual with many friends on Twitter or Facebook tends to believe that he or she is illustrious, but most likely will be disappointed in a time of need because not all online friends will ever care about what is happening to the life of one member (Harris 101).

They will simply express their sadness, which might not be genuine, yet the individual would be in need of emotional and psychological support. Therefore, social networking is believed to be harmful to the well-being of the individual in society because it does not add value to life (Myers 88). Additionally, it is established that a strong correlation between social networking and depression exists and it is upon the individual to control internet usage.

Works Cited

Harris, Kandace. “Using Social Networking Sites as Student Engagement Tools.” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 25.18 (2008): 88-112. Print.

Kaplan, Andreas, and Haenlein, Michael. “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media”. Business Horizons, 53.1 (2010): 61-98. Print.

Myers, David. Social Psychology . New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2012. Print.

Noor, Al-Deen, and Hendricks, John. Social Media: Usage and Impact . Lanham: Lexington Books, 2012. Print.

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