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Social networks: these astonishing studies shake up our certainties

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The impact of social networks and the Internet on mental health continues to be commented on. In debates on the subject, the fact that these technologies and media are harmful is no longer even questioned. And yet, several studies call this idea into question.

Destabilizing studies

This is particularly what we can learn from a first study carried out by two Oxford academics. To see more clearly, the two researchers analyzed psychological well-being in 168 countries from 2005 to 2022. Their solid analysis is based on the responses provided by more than two million people.

By combining this data with that of Internet use, the two authors find no link at the global level. The study is entirely open access, and you can read it in more detail here.

Our colleagues from Warpnews mention a second survey which focused on the rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm in 202 countries. It appears that these indicators have changed very little over time. Clearly, there is no significant correlation between the arrival of the Internet and a major increase in mental health. Enough to challenge many preconceived ideas.

The impact of social networks on mental health

However, we should not show triumphalism in this area, and scientific research remains contradictory. To cite just one of the many other studies, scientists from Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal noted in 2019: “What we have observed time and again, This is because the effects of social networks have been much greater than those of other types of digital screen”.

The latter noted that on social networks such as Instagram, young people are likely to compare their lives to those of other users who belong or pretend to belong to more advantaged social backgrounds, which can be disconcerting and sometimes saddening. . You can always reread our article in more detail here.

What you need to remember:

  • Two recent studies have not found no link between mass Internet adoption and greater mental health problems
  • This concerns in particular anxiety, depression and self-harm in more than 202 countries
  • However, other studies have also measured a negative impact of social networks on individuals in the past. Therefore, nothing definitive can be concluded, and further research is necessary

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116