No, Facebook Does Not Cause Depression
I don’t know why I am such a sucker for these studies, when I know for a fact that I will be confronted with something that is either a no brainer or something totally vague and/or ludicrous. Still, I find myself reading studies, the results of studies, and potential studies…Whatever floats my boat, right?
For sure, you have seen at least one study claiming that Facebook – or maybe some other social network – is the cause of depression. Or dementia. Or some other negative mental or emotional state. Whether you were nodding your head as you read those articles or you were vigorously shaking it in denial, here is another study that might catch your attention as it did mine: Facebook does not cause depression, apparently.
Students at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have taken it upon themselves to conduct a scientific study refuting the numerous claims that spending too much time on Facebook (let’s just use this particular site to represent other similar platforms, shall we?) might lead to depression.
The researchers focused their powers of observation on 190 University of Wisconsin-Madison students who were in between 18 and 23 years of age. The study was conducted over a seven-day period. I cannot go too deeply with regard to the methods they used, but at the end of the day, their conclusion is this: “no significant associations between social-media use and the probability of depression.”
I suppose that is welcome news to people who might not like hearing that spending too much time on social media sites may have adverse effects on their health. I say take everything with a grain of salt. Yes, that is coming from someone who likes reading about all those studies!
In any case, whether this study’s result holds water or not, I think what matters most is evaluating how Facebook is affecting your personal productivity (and other good things like that). Don’t you think?