Social media apps Snapchat and Tiktok may increase depression in adults


Using social media platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, or TikTok is likely to be associated with a greater likelihood of further increase in depressive symptoms, according to a new study.

The researchers, including Roy H. Perlis of Harvard Medical School in Boston, found that in the fitted regression models, the use of Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok in the first survey was significantly associated with an increased risk of increase self-reported depressive symptoms.

“In this survey study, 5,395 people with minimal depressive symptoms in the initial survey who reported using Snapchat, Facebook, or TikTok were more likely to report increased levels of depressive symptoms in a subsequent survey.” , the researchers said.

“These results suggest that certain uses of social media preceded the worsening of depressive symptoms,” they added.

For the study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, the team included data from 13 waves of a non-probabilistic internet survey conducted approximately once a month between May 2020 and May 2021 among people aged 18 and over. more in the United States.

The data was analyzed in July and August 2021.

Logistic regression was applied without reweighting, with an increase of 5 or more points in the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score in 9 items as the outcome and socio-demographic characteristics of participants, baseline PHQ-9 and use of each social media platform as independent variables.

They were asked, “Do you already use any of the following social media sites or apps? Such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube.

They were asked to identify all sources of information related to Covid-19 that they consumed in the past 24 hours, which they used as a proxy for information sources more generally while also examining web and TV news separately; several social supports available “who to talk to if you have a problem, feel sad or depressed”; and face-to-face meetings with non-household members within the previous 24 hours.

Among survey respondents who did not report depressive symptoms at baseline, social media use was associated with a greater likelihood of a subsequent increase in depressive symptoms after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and sources of depression. information, the team said.

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