Spot­light on ‘on­line ex­changes’


NEG­A­TIVE ex­pe­ri­ences on so­cial me­dia carry more weight than pos­i­tive in­ter­ac­tions when it comes to the like­li­hood of young adults re­port­ing de­pres­sive symp­toms, ac­cord­ing to a new study.

The find­ings, pub­lished in the jour­nal De­pres­sion and Anx­i­ety, sug­gests that neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ences on so­cial me­dia were as­so­ci­ated with de­pres­sive symp­toms.

“We found that pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences on so­cial me­dia were not re­lated or only very slightly linked to lower de­pres­sive symp­toms. How­ever, neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ences were strongly and con­sis­tently as­so­ci­ated with higher de­pres­sive symp­toms,” said lead au­thor Brian Pri­mack from the Univer­sity of Pitts­burg in the US.

For the study, the re­searchers sur­veyed 1 179 full­time stu­dents aged be­tween 18 to 30 about their so­cial me­dia use and ex­pe­ri­ences.

The par­tic­i­pants also com­pleted a ques­tion­naire to as­sess their de­pres­sive symp­toms.

The re­searchers found that each 10% in­crease in pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences on so­cial me­dia was as­so­ci­ated with a 4% de­crease in odds of de­pres­sive symp­toms, but those re­sults were not sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant, mean­ing that the find­ing could be due to ran­dom chance.

How­ever, each 10 %in­crease in neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ences was as­so­ci­ated with a 20% in­crease in the odds of de­pres­sive symp­toms, a sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant find­ing, the re­searcher said.

Other char­ac­ter­is­tics too were linked to the par­tic­i­pants hav­ing de­pres­sive symp­toms.

For ex­am­ple, com­pared with men, women had 50%higher odds of hav­ing de­pres­sive symp­toms, they added.

The re­searchers also said that while the find­ings still needed to be repli­cated, pub­lic health prac­ti­tion­ers could start us­ing them to ed­u­cate the pub­lic of the risks of neg­a­tive so­cial me­dia in­ter­ac­tions.

“Our find­ings may en­cour­age peo­ple to pay closer at­ten­tion to their on­line ex­changes,” Pri­mack said.

“Mov­ing for­ward, these re­sults could as­sist sci­en­tists in de­vel­op­ing ways to in­ter­vene and counter the neg­a­tive ef­fects while strength­en­ing the pos­i­tive ones,” he noted. – IANS

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