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Heavy Social Media Users Trapped In Endless Cycle of Depression (independent.co.uk) 48

An anonymous reader quotes an article on The Independent: The more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to become depressed, a study has found. Of the 19- to 32-year-olds who took part in the research, those who checked social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those who checked least often. The 1,787 U.S. participants used social media for an average 61 minutes every day, visiting accounts 30 times per week. Of them a quarter were found to have high indicators of depression. Dr Brian Primack, the director of Pitt's Centre for Research on Media, Technology and Health, led the study, said, "One strong possibility is that people who are already having depressive symptoms start to use social media more, perhaps because they do not feel the energy or drive to engage in as many direct social relationships." Update: 03/26 17:06 GMT by M : Oops -- as many of you correctly pointed out, we originally covered this story on Friday. Apologies for the error. Thanks!
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Heavy Social Media Users Trapped In Endless Cycle of Depression

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  • by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @11:04AM (#51782195)

    ./ Found to be trapped in an endless cycle of depression.
    This story again later tomorrow.

    https://news.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

    • But this one is different! You didn't see the (Dr. Evil) quotation marks in today's headline?

    • Slashdot is a bit different then other social media.
      While they may be a few big names out there, the most of us, even ones with max karma, are really just a few words in the static. Most of us really know this on Slashdot.
      No matter how insightful your post is, or qualified you are, it may get a lot of attention for about an hour, then shoved away as an old new article. However the attention is directed at your comment, not as much as yourself.
      I am not expecting results from future posts stating that Jello

      • Such as that Guy who keeps on posting Left/Right leaning political posts at the point of nausea.

        I quickly learned to use the "mute" feature in Facebook because of those idiots who post zero impact political comments. You know, those comments that won't convince the other side and that people who already agree with the position don't need to read, yet idiots keep posting that and no doubt high-five themselves as they re-read their masterpiece.

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        You're right that it is more rare to see follow up here, but I have seen people who have gone through poster histories and called them out on things. There is certainly the capability to do so.

        I do think that it is less of an issue because we're not really "friends" or linked somehow. We're random people who happen to post on the same board. If you call me a jackass, that doesn't affect my daily life.

        If you called someone a "jackass" on FB, you probably know that person outside of FB and they may be a fr

      • Facebook and Twitter are stupid. Some people try it and figure it out quickly. For whatever reason others do not. Perhaps because corporations have embraced them so much and now actively promote them - but that should be a clear sign of what they really are.

        Its kind of like the same thing when you shop for cosmetics. I guarantee you that most of the staff do not really understand 99% of the actual chemical properties of the products they sell. It is a world of almost pure marketing hype. Ok, maybe its

      • But the article is about the external validation of self.

        There is a correlation (not causation) between depressed people and social media. There are several theories as to why, including:
        Those already depressed cannot deal with real social interaction, but still want attention.
        Social media allows a certain escapism/fantasy where people can live as the version of themselves they wish to be.
        Generally social media casts a wider net than real life, so people are more likely to have some feedback directed at the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Heavy slashdot readers caught in endless cycle of dupes.

  • Title is backwards (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    As per the quote:

    "One strong possibility is that people who are already having depressive symptoms start to use social media more, perhaps because they do not feel the energy or drive to engage in as many direct social relationships."

    I think it is much more likely that depression causes the social media use, not that the social media use causes depression. Otherwise you might as well blame TV, books, and magazines, which all also portray unrealistic people and lives.

    • On top of that chronic, clinical, depression is typically a biological problem so I doubt browsing too much Facebook will change how your cylinders are firing so to speak. Not that a person can't bury themselves in despair but I guess what I'm trying to say that in a sense there is a difference between feeling depressed and being depressed.

      Obligatory citation: I have an actual diagnoses of clinical depression.

      • I'm not confident that we know what depression is. We test it by asking people about their symptoms, which shows how little we know. There are no lab tests. I'm not sure there is just one disease underlying the syndrome. We know there are biological factors, but there's more involved. We don't use talk therapy for ear infections or bronchitis, but it is useful to treat depression, preferably combined with antidepressants. There are studies that suggest that antidepressants often do nothing, which sug

        • There are studies that suggest that antidepressants often do nothing, which suggests to me that the same biochemical causes aren't present for all depression.

          Interestingly I've also seen some studies that suggest Serotonin may not be the only neurotransmitter responsible, if at all, for depression. Some research suggests that the root cause may be, fully or partially in some people, to be Norepinephrine and Dopamine deficiency. In some cases it may be all three neurotransmitters or even ones we don't know about yet.

          • Yup. Back in the mid-90s, I was rather hoping we'd learn more about depression over the course of my lifetime. I'm rather disappointed over the progress made in the past twenty years.

            • Yup. Back in the mid-90s, I was rather hoping we'd learn more about depression over the course of my lifetime. I'm rather disappointed over the progress made in the past twenty years.

              Well to be fair there are a newer class of drugs called NDRI's (Wellbutrin; buproprion, is one) that target Norepinephrine and Dopamine receptors and Effexor; venlafaxine, supposedly is targets all three but regardless of how these medications work we still unfortunately, as you pointed out, know so little about the actual cause of biological depression so really all we're doing is symptomatic treatment.

              Maybe all the recent breakthroughs in modeling neural networks in software will eventually lead to a soft

  • by edibobb ( 113989 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @11:19AM (#51782259) Homepage
    "Depressed people more likely to use Facebook relentlessly."
  • Researchers have found a 100% chance of unexplained deja vu in users of the spell-check free tech news site Slashdot. The transfer of ownership from DICE to BizX, LLC seemed to remedy the situation but new reports of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" have quickly skyrocketed.

    Seriously. I have never experienced so many reposts of headlines on any other "news" site.
    https://news.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

    • This the the first dupe I've seen since the sale to BizX. Feel free to point out any that I've missed, though.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      Using the firehose method of selecting articles can cause dupes because two different groups of people can vote up two different copies of the same article which could look different based on different headline or summary text.

      I suppose there is more that editors could do to prevent that from happening, but it isn't like they're writing the stories themselves, forgetting about them, and then writing the same story the next day.

      This is a news aggregation site. I think dupes are as funny as the next person,

    • I believe whipslash is trying to keep some old Slashdot traditions. I'm not sure how high making sure we have dupes and bad editing are on the list, though.

  • by nult ( 3522097 )
    Deleting my Facebook profile years ago was the best thing I did that year. What a waste of time/energy.
    • What is facebook?
    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      Deleting my Facebook profile years ago was the best thing I did that year.

      What a waste of time/energy.

      Yeah it was a waste of time, you could just have stopped using it.

      • Sometimes, when people need to make a clean break, they need to make a clean break.

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          Sometimes, when people need to make a clean break, they need to make a clean break.

          Friend of mine used to be a manager at Blockbuster video. Every month or so someone would get enraged by late fees or some other thing and would get to my friend and ask to close their account. My friend would explain it can't be done, and the person would stomp out, even more enraged.

          Funny part is, usually those people came back and rented movies again after a while.

          People, pfft.

          • Apples and oranges.

          • by Mr.CRC ( 2330444 )
            I used to ask the Blockbuster manager: "how's business?" He'd always tell me it was going all right. A months later they were gone.
            • by lucm ( 889690 )

              If they had rented porn, they would have lasted longer. But no, instead they even refused to rent NC-17 movies; either they had the R version or they wouldn't have the movie at all.


  • ...to reading this story on Friday but since then I've experienced something of a similar endless cycle with pornographic media.

    I figured if Facebook won't let me break free of depression maybe watching better looking men have sex with women I'll never meet be so much better for me.

    Although I digress it's worth mentioning that neither "cycle" is truly endless. Depressed users eventually recover or end and porn addicts eventually wake up very sore...

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