Written by Audie
Scientist believe life events and social changes NOT technology is to blame for mental distress. A new study suggest social media may actually benefit and improve our well-being.
New York Post
This article examined a recent study from Michigan State University Professor Keith Hampton. Hampton tracked more than 13,000 students from 2015-2016. These results ran contrary to popular wisdom, noting that social media users are 63% less likely to undergo "serious psychological stress" within a one-year period. Interestingly enough, the percentage further fell when the person being surveyed that family members who used social media and had positive mental health.
In the article, Professor Hampton stated that he felt that other studies did not "isolate new tech from youth," and didn't take into account other societal changes, such as the stresses of the global economy and continued breakdown of the nuclear family unit. As a result, increases in levels of mental illness, which had previously been attributed to mental illness, should actually have been attributed to a variety of other factors - and not social media.
This article further expanded upon Hampton's study, noting its same broad conclusions. It went further, however, and examined three additional findings. First, it noted that an individual who uses any social networking site is 1.63 times less likely to experience psychological distress. Second, it noted that the level, frequency and degree of stress altered, depending on what technology an individual used, and how frequently they used it. Last, it went further into the finding about the impact which social networking and family members can have on mental health, discussing that changes to the mental health of a family member are more likely to affect the mental health of another family member if both are on the same social networking platform.
The Economic Times
In reviewing the Hampton study, this article went further into contrasting why Hampton believed his study showed contrary results to others which have connected social media use to depression. This article reviews Hampton's discussion of other studies, noting that the other studies specifically examined teenagers and social media - while his study examined 13,000 adults of all age ranges. As such, connection between teenagers and social media could have been attributable to outside factors and life stages.
This study also reviewed the overall findings which have been noted above: The decreased depression rates among social media users, and the further decreased rates among social media users who connected with their family via social networking.
This study incorporated identical information and quotes as noted in the three articles above. It quoted Hampton as discussing the fallacy of attributing depression in teenagers to social media and noted that users of social media were 63% less likely to be depressed over a one-year period. Furthermore, it discussed the connection between family members and social media users, noting that the mental health of one could affect another if both family members were on the same social network.
This article did not offer any additional information which the above three did not.
This website is one which summarizes research articles; as such, it offered a different take on the Hampton study. It expanded further upon the various publicity struggles which Facebook has undergone in the past two decades, discussing it's Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal and Mark Zuckerberg's widely panned Congressional hearing. It also noted the mental health struggles which have been attributed to Facebook.
From there, it noted the contrary findings of Hampton's study compared to other studies which discussed the relationship between social networking and mental health, and his attribution of those findings to the fact that they focused on teenagers, not adults. Once again, the article discussed the connections between social media use and having family members, who had strong mental health, using the same social network.