Social networks do not save from depression

Scientists from the University of Oregon believe that social contacts reduce the risk of depression, but this applies only to offline contacts, not social networking. 

It was previously shown that social exclusion negatively affects human health. And social support is a kind of buffer under the influence of stress factors that increase a person’s level of anxiety, increase his depressive state and emotional problems.

The study involved nearly 600 people who were formerly members of hostilities. None of them at the initial stage of the project had clinical depression, alcoholism and suicidal tendencies. Subjects were recruited via Facebook, but the results are applicable to other social networks.

Observations and polls showed that the frequency of contacts of subjects in social networks did not affect the risk of depression, post-traumatic disorder, alcoholism or suicidal tendency. These findings are consistent with the results of a 2015 study, which proved that only personal social contacts reduce the likelihood of depression, but neither telephone conversations, nor emails, nor paper ones have such an effect.

But another effect was discovered: people who more often communicated on social networks had more offline social contacts. So, of those who went to Facebook daily, at least 37% several times a day crossed with friends or family. Only 19% of those who did not use social networks every day arrived. These data refute the common myth that active users of social networks are less likely to communicate offline than those who are not their followers. Contacts in social networks do not replace offline communication.

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