Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Social media has become an undeniable part of our society today. With the click of a button you can see what your friends are up to, share an article or photo, or ask a question to a wide group of people. But can social media cause depression?

According to a recent study, high use of social media doesn’t cause depressive symptoms. However, the study did find that for some, higher depression symptoms predicted increased social media use; in other words, those who are feeling depressed may turn to social media to try to make themselves feel better. Though there isn’t a direct link between social media use and depression, there are some side effects to too much screen time. Some studies have linked overuse of social media to poor sleep quality, lower self-esteem, or potential addiction.

A lot of the effects depend on the individual — some may use social media negatively, comparing themselves to others or looking at doomsday-type media, while others use it to simply keep up with friends and news. Whichever type you are, chances are you could still use a break from social media use.

An average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day is spent on social networks and messaging.

So what can you do instead? Make an effort to reach out to a friend you usually chat with on social media in person or over the phone. Spend an hour outside rather than on your phone. Read an actual paper book or magazine rather than on your phone or tablet. Limiting your social media use to around 30 minutes per day can lead to better mental health, according to the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. Looking up from your screen can make a big difference in your day.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from: and