A new study has found no link between the use of social media networks and mental health problems among young adults. However, that depends on how people use social media, and not on how much time they spend using it.
More Time On Social Media Not Linked To Poor Mental Health
In recent years, many researches were conducted to study the effects of social media use on young people's mental health. Some studies have found negative effects while others have found that the use of social media may have beneficial effects on some people.
A new study, published in the Springer's journal Psychiatric Quarterly, has discovered that more time spent on social media networks, such as Facebook or Twitter, among young adults is not associated with mental health issues such as social anxiety or loneliness.
The study, according to Chloe Berryman of the University of Central Florida, aims to focus on the individual behavior of people instead of the media, in order to uncover the primary cause behind "socio-personal" and mental health issues.
In other words, the study takes into account how people use social media in the first place and pays less attention on how much time people spend using it.
Participants Were Asked A Variety Of Questions
The research involved 467 participants responding to different kinds of questions related to their social media use and current mental health conditions. They were asked about how much time they spend using social media every day, how important it was in their lives and how they use it.
Researchers also took into account the social aspects of the participants such as the relationships they have with their relatives, and the amount of social support they possessed.
According to the results, one trend that worried the researchers the most was related to "vaguebooking", a term that refers to any social media updates or posts that is intentionally vague. People who are inclined to "vaguebooking" were found to be lonelier and more suicidal than others.
"Vaguebooking was slightly predictive of suicidal ideation, suggesting this particular behavior could be a warning sign for serious issues," said Berryman. "It is, therefore, possible that some forms of social media use may function as a 'cry for help' among individuals with pre-existing mental health problems."
Social Media Platforms Ranked
According to a recent survey that aimed to show how influential each social media platform was on one's personal well-being, Instagram is the worst social media networking site because of the negative impact it has on body image.
The survey found that seven out of ten people felt worse about the way they looked because of the platform. Instagram received most of the negative scores, followed by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and finally YouTube.