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Study explores link between mental health and social media

A survey from the American Psychiatric Association has revealed that more than one-third of US adults view social media as harmful to their mental health, and believe that its usage is related to social isolation and loneliness.

Only five per cent of respondents viewed social media as being positive for their mental health, and the remaining 45 per cent were not convinced either way.

According to a Fairfax Media report on the survey, there is now a strong body of research linking social media use with depression, while other studies have linked it to envy, lower self-esteem and social anxiety.

The article also lists six ways people can reduce the harm social media can do to their mental health, including limiting when and where you use social media, for instance not checking social media during meals with family and friends, and when playing with children or talking with a partner, and building in detox periods.

The article also suggests that social media users pay attention to how they feel during and after a social media session, and suggests they prune their Facebook friends and add a few motivational or funny sites.

When used thoughtfully and deliberately, the article notes, social media can be a useful addition to a person’s social life.

>> Read the full article here

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald