The use of Facebook has been directly linked to a “worsening” rise in complaints of anxiety and sadness among students.
The suicide rate among 10- to 24-year-olds was steady from 2000 to 2007 but rose 57% between 2007 and 2017.
A total of 4.3 billion people on the planet have at least one social media account.
The use of Facebook has been directly linked to a “worsening” rise in complaints of anxiety and sadness among college students, according to recent research.
In the first 2.5 years of the platform’s existence, college students who had accounts on the site were 20% more likely to experience anxiety and 7% more likely to experience depression, according to the study, which was published in the American Economic Review.
Students at Harvard gained access to Facebook first in 2004, followed by those from Columbia, Stanford, and Yale institutions.
Researchers compared the mental health questionnaires conducted on these campuses with those conducted on college campuses without access to the platform using medical data from these universities.
Despite the fact that there have been hundreds of studies linking social media use to deteriorating mental health, researchers claim that their special methodology has allowed them to confirm the connection.
According to the study, which was co-authored by Ro’ee Levy of Tel Aviv University, “unfavorable social comparisons” are probably to blame for the rise in young people’s anxiety and melancholy.
“As we all know, social media platforms are widely used today. Users struggle to comprehend that what they see online may not always mirror reality because they cause jealousy.”
“How much more so when the phenomenon was brand-new, 16–18 years ago,” Levy told.
Another participant in the study and assistant professor at MIT Sloan, Alexey Makarin, stated that “the effects seem to intensify with time.”
“It appears as though the effect is stronger with the sophomore, who had greater exposure,” Makarin said, according to MIT Sloan’s website, if a freshman at Harvard had access to Facebook for one semester and a sophomore for two semesters in late fall 2004.
When Makarin first started using social media, he said that he thought about mental health as “just one more” aspect of it, but after doing his research, he stated, “I began to know how truly horrible the situation is, and it remained with me.”
“Any insights into what’s driving this tendency that this work, or others, may offer, will be incredibly helpful to society,” he added.
The suicide rate among 10- to 24-year-olds was steady from 2000 to 2007, but rose 57% between 2007 and 2017.
This is according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
Facebook now boasts daily users of 2.5 billion. A total of 4.3 billion people on the planet have at least one social media account.
In 2021, the typical user spent 2.5 hours per day on social media, according to a study by the American Economic Review.
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