Study links social media to teen gloom while gaming equals smiles

A new study finds that social media, specifically, Instagram, is linked to depression in teenagers.

    2019/07/18

NSFW    MONTREAL — A new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday connected social media to depression in teens and not video gaming.

Lead researcher, Patricia Conrod, a professor of psychiatry at Montreal's Sainte-Justine Hospital and her colleague, Elroy Boersn examined the correlation between depression in teenagers and various types of screen time. They looked at four varieties of screen time including, social media, video games, television, and computer use.

The researchers analyzed the data of 3,826 adolescents from 31 Montreal schools between 2012 and 2018, following their screen time from Grade 7 to Grade 11.

CBC News reported that the teenagers self-reported the amount of time they spent in front of a screen per week. The research identified social media as the most harmful of all forms of screen time.

They found that Instagram was the leading culprit in teen depression as, according to Conrod, it "exposes young people to images that promote upward social comparison and makes them feel bad about themselves."

The same connection was not found for those of us who play video games. Boers explained that more than 70 percent of gamers play with other people either online or in person, therefore they are not socially isolated.
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