The social media habits linked to depression, according to science

Close up of elementary student typing text message on smart phone while sitting at the desk in the classroom.
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Social media is a platform where many users post the highlights of their lives - but scientists say it may be making some people depressed.

A study, conducted by researchers at Texas State University, analysed the habits of 500 students frequently using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

It was found that while the users' reasons for using the platforms were not linked with mental illnesses, how they interacted with the platforms were.

Those who compared themselves with others they considered "better off than me" also had a higher likelihood of having depression.

Those who scored highly on the "social media addiction" component also had higher depression ratings. This section was based on statements such as "you have tried to cut down on the use of social media without success" and "you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies".

Those with depression who used social media were more bothered by being tagged in unflattering photos, and were less likely to post pictures of themselves with other people.

Study author Anthony Robinson, a psychology student at Texas State University, told LiveScience he hopes the research will allow people to become aware of unhealthy behaviours online.

"People tend to make themselves look better off than they really are" on social media. "This is not someone's 'real life.' It's important to recognize that."

It's not the first time social media has been linked to bad habits. Studies earlier this year have also connected the platforms to overspending and overeating.

Newshub.