DOES social media really cause depression, anxiety, delusions? New study finds it might not be the sole contributing factor.

While most of us believe that techno-stress is caused by social media, a study found that time spent on it does not directly cause anxiety and depression in teenagers, as previously thought.

The amount of time teenagers spend on social networking sites has risen by 62.5% since 2012 and continues to grow.

Just last year, the average age was estimated at 2.6 hours per day. Critics have claimed that more screen time is increasing depression and anxiety among teenagers.

But a new research led Sarah Coyne, a professor of family life at Brigham Young University, found that this might not be entirely true, reported Hindustan Times,

''We spent eight years trying to really understand the relationship between time spent on social media and depression for developing teenagers,'' Coyne said.

''If they increased their social media time, would it make them more depressed?

Also, if they decreased their social media time, were they less depressed? The answer is no. We found that time spent on social media was not what was impacting anxiety or depression.''

Mental health is a multi-process syndrome where no one stressor is likely the cause.

''It's not just the amount time that is important for most kids. For example, two teenagers could use social media for exactly the same amount of time but have vastly different outcomes as a result of the way they are using it,'' Coyne explained.

She suggested being an active, instead of a passive user. This means instead of just scrolling, actively comment, post and 'like'' other content.

Limited social media use at least an hour before falling asleep. Getting enough sleep is one of the most protective factors for mental health.

''If you get on specifically to seek out information or to connect with others, that can have a more positive effect than getting on just because you're bored,'' Coyne added.

The World Students Society thanks, News Desk, The Express Tribune.


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