Ever felt that you need to quit Facebook because you've been told that Facebook will make you depressed? Turns out that there really is no relation between spending time on Facebook and depression, according to a new study.
"Our study is the first to present scientific evidence on the suggested link between social-media use and risk of depression. The findings have important implications for clinicians who may prematurely alarm parents about social-media use and depression risks," said Lauren Jelenchick, from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, one of the study authors, said in a statement.
Researchers surveyed 190 students from University of Wisconsin-Madison. All participants were aged between 18 and 23. Researchers used a real-time assessment of Internet activity. To assess depression levels, they used a validated, clinical screening method.
The survey data was collected via text messages. Participants were sent text messages at regular intervals to find out how much time they spent online and what they were doing online.
The researchers found that participants spent more than half of their online time on Facebook. They then evaluated how depressed these participants were and found out no significant probability of depression that linked to Facebook use.
Facebook linked to addiction, narcissism, aggression, self esteem
Facebook is often seen as addictive as cigarettes or alcohol. Medical Daily had earlier reported that Facebook addiction isn't possible because using Facebook is a choice and that people have the power to stop using the site.
Previous research has suggested that teenage girls spend more than 3.5 hours a day on surfing the internet and in updating information on sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Researchers say that most girls who constantly update their profiles on these sites tend to suffer from lower self-esteem.
Another study said that kids who overuse Facebook tend to have a narcissist personality and also show signs of aggression and antisocial behavior.
American Academy of Pediatrics has published guidelines on how parents can monitor their child's internet use and keep them safe online.
However, Dr. Megan Moreno from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and one of the authors of the current study says that “while the amount of time on Facebook is not associated with depression, we encourage parents to be active role models and teachers on safe and balanced media use for their children."