Social media has been sweeping our free-time resulting in poor self-image, comparison depression, and overall poor mental health. The average time on the Internet is 4 hours and 25 minutes but according to new data, the average user logs 1.72 hours per day on social platforms, which represents about 28 percent of all online activity. Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the most popular social networking sites.
Another new study just released more information on the downside of social media. Sampasa-Kanyinga and study co-author Dr. Rosamund Lewis reported their findings online recently in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, which showed a link in the use of social networking sites to mental health problems.
Sampasa-Kanyinga noted that the "use of social networking sites can lead to poor mental health, and poor mental health may be a reason why youth use social networking sites. That said, it could be that kids with mental health problems are seeking out interactions, as they are feeling isolated and alone. Or it could be that greater time online exposes one to more opportunities for cyberbullying, for instance."
The study comprised of 750 students enrolled in grade 7 through 12 in Ottawa reported their time spent on social networking sites and the internet. Almost half of the group reported two hours of less daily on social sites. A little over 25% reported they spent more than 2 hours a day on social networking sites. Only one-fifth of them said they rarely spent time on social sites. About 37% of the students described their mental health as “good” or “poor”, while the majority said they were “very good” to “excellent”. However, about 13% said they contemplated suicide.
Although no cause and effect can be determined, those who reported poor health and/or contemplated suicide spent more than two hours daily on these sites.