The results of a study published in “JAMA Open Network”, titled “Is there a link between the use of social media platforms and an increase in depression?” There are surprises for users of these platforms that will transform their use of these platforms, especially the study was supervised by a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University in Boston.
Serious signs of mental health
In the study, in which 5,000 people with an average age of 55 years participated, psychiatrists confirmed to the “Al-Ahram Gate” the serious indicators of the mental health of everyone who uses social media platforms, as participants in this study were subjected to monthly tests for a whole year, since May of the year 2020 AD, and until May 2021 AD, and it was confirmed that the participants did not suffer from depression, by obtaining 9 scores out of 9 in the tests, but after the first two months of using social media platforms, it was noticed that there were many people whose scores decreased, as they started getting 5 Only scores on the tests, indicating that they are on the verge of depression, according to what was published on the “Psychology Today” website.
Spreading the spirit of negativity and pessimism
Dr. Gamal Fruiz, a consultant psychiatrist, said in his talk to Al-Ahram Gate that the excessive use of social media caused a spirit of negativity and pessimism as a result of the nature of the conversations addressed by the pioneers of these platforms, as it always spreads the negatives, and when these negatives reach the users of these platforms, they enter him in a state of distress Pessimism, rejection of reality, lack of adaptation to it, and even hatred for it.
Create a state of distress and inconsistency
Froez says that the state of distress, pessimism and lack of adjustment that reaches the majority of users of “social media” platforms is enough to plunge these recipients into a state of depression, supporting the results of the study.
The strength of this study is to run it on non-depressed people before they use social media, and then watch them develop depressive traits month after month after using social media.
Although the study did not prove direct causation, that is, it did not prove that the use of social media platforms has a direct cause of depression, it confirms that there is a clear link between its use and infection, which is a clear indication of a person’s weakness as a result of facing other problems in his life.
The researchers stressed that they find the results of the study worrying about the use of social media platforms, because although it has not been proven that it is a conclusive cause of depression, it is an important factor in developing it.
What happens when you use social media platforms?
Dr. Walid Hindi, a consultant psychiatrist, says that the nature of sitting on the Internet has made people live in a system of isolated islands, so that each one of them is far from those around him. Whether they are from a group of friends or family, and a person by nature always needs social support from those around him, which is what he misses when he enters that virtual world “the world of social media”, which deepens his sense of social isolation and affects his degree of depression.
What does depression do to people?
Dr. Walid Hindi says in his interview with Al-Ahram Gate that depression deepens in a person – if he is affected by it – the feeling of social withdrawal, neglect of personal hygiene, reluctance to social participation, lack of interest in doing activities, disturbances of the biological clock, successive episodes of crying, severe mood swings and a lack of interest in life. For lack of desire to do so, it may lead to suicide.
the funny thief
The psychiatrist describes social media platforms as a “cute thief” who initially attracts us to approach him and befriend him and spend most of the time with him. He fascinates us with his interesting and varied content and satisfies the need for curiosity and desire for exploration and knowledge, in addition to the ease of movement between one country and another without moving a finger in our place. However, in fact, this thief takes us to destruction and destruction, making us not do anything on the ground. When a person wakes up after a while, he finds that everyone around him who worked hard and diligently has achieved for themselves social and material gains; Whether in the fields of work or study, they have advanced in stages, but he is still tampering with his place with this hypothetical world.
Severe depression, confusion and heartbreak
According to the psychiatrist, the foregoing results in severe and acute depression, psychological confusion, and a feeling of psychological heartbreak, in addition to feelings of guilt and self-flagellation.
After some of the participants, 5,000 people with an average age of 55, became depressed, the study noted that they used apps (Snapchat, Facebook, and Tik Tok) a lot, and found that they used social media platforms 40% more than people who did not suffer from depression.
The study advises everyone who suffers from depression, or feels weak during this period of his life, not to spend a long time on social media platforms, as his condition does not worsen, and he remains depressed for a longer period of those who did not use social media platforms.
As for doctors, they advise raising awareness of the dangers of using social media platforms. Dr. Gamal Froez told Al-Ahram Gate that the various media outlets should raise awareness of the correct and positive use of social media platforms and that parents should check their children and not allow them to use these platforms under the age of 14 if the child’s personality is not fully developed. Before this age, Dr. Walid Hindi warned against these platforms for all age groups after describing them as a cute thief who steals from you time, age and successes that keep you away from them and the way to them, so beware all of this thief on your phones and devices.