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Experts Warn How Many Minutes a Day Are Enough to Get Depressed When Browsing Social Networks

Data were released on an investigation that will make you reflect on the amount of time you spend on social media.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Excessive use of social networks is not good for your health, young people who increase their use are more likely to develop depression during the next six months. A national investigation was conducted by Brian Primack , who is dean of the College of Education and Health Professions and professor of public health at the University of Arkansas and this study will be published in February 2021 in the "Journal of Preventive Medicine." .

Some data from the study may make users reflect on their time exposed to social networks and new technologies. "These can definitely be valuable, so I urge people to think about which ones are really useful and which ones leave them feeling empty," Primack said.

In general, compared to participants who spend less than 120 minutes a day on social media, those who spent more than 300 minutes a day - approximately five hours - were 2.8 more likely to become depressed in half a year.

This study is considered the first major national research to show a relationship between the use of social networks and depression over time. “Most of the previous work in this area has left us with the chicken and egg issue. We know from other large studies of depression and the use of social media tend to go hand in hand, but it has been difficult to determine which came first, ”Primack said.

During the research, the scientists analyzed how long more than 1,000 Americans, ages 18 to 30, used social media. Similarly, through a series of questions they measured their level of depression and counted the time that respondents spent on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit and Snapchat.

The findings of this research are relevant , since the WHO warns that depression is the main global reason for disability and this means more accumulated years than all existing mental disorders.

According to the researchers , the study on depression could be very important in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, as many people use social networks for longer.

Taking into account the above, the excessive use of new technologies can affect the development of social relationships, "even the achievement of personal and professional goals, or simply having moments of valuable reflection," the researchers warn.