Using social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, or TikTok is likely to be associated with an increase in depressive symptoms, according to a new study.
The researchers, led by Roy H. Perlis of Harvard Medical School in Boston, discovered that in adjusted regression models, Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok use at the beginning of the survey were significantly associated with an increase in self-reported depressive symptoms.
"In this survey study, 5,395 individuals who reported using Snapchat, Facebook, or TikTok and had minimal depressive symptoms on the initial survey were more likely to report increased levels of depressive symptoms on a later survey," the researchers wrote.
The data was analysed in July and August of 2021. The findings suggest that certain types of social media use preceded the worsening of depressive symptoms, " they added.
"Do you ever use any of the following social media sites or apps?" they were asked, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.
After controlling for sociodemographic factors and news sources, the team found that among survey respondents who did not initially report depressive symptoms, social media use was associated with a higher likelihood of a subsequent increase in depressive symptoms.