PhD Student’s Social Media/Depression Research
Results from the present study highlight the importance of understanding the complicated relationship between social media use and depression. Individuals are so heavily connected to each other in today’s society and many popular news media outlets are coming to the conclusion that this constant connection may have negative consequences, without scientific evidence. Given the mixed findings, results from this study paint a picture suggesting that all social media may not be inherently negative and might not have as much of a negative effect as people would like to believe. The negative dialogue that surrounds social media use may be unwarranted, but it is clear that the highest level of social media users warrant our concern and attention. Schulz indicates that future researchers should use these findings to inform their next steps in analyzing how social media use may incite higher levels of depression or how heavily depressed individuals might use social media as a coping mechanism. They can be used to inform future interventions that could buffer the harmful effects heavy social media use may inflict on individuals. Current research regarding social media and the effects on our lives is woefully inadequate. In a world where individuals have the Internet at their fingertips and are spending large amounts of time online, further research needs to address how this context might affect its users.Longitudinal studies are warranted from a public health perspective, as well as micro-health viewpoint, to address and utilize these tools for better health for all individuals.