Samantha Rosenthal, author of the study on Social Media Bullying and Depression, and epidemiology research associate at Brown University’s School of Public Health, explained, “It’s important that people take interactions on social media seriously and don’t think of it as somehow less impactful because it’s a virtual experience as opposed to an in-person experience.”
She added in a news release, “It’s a different forum that has real emotional consequences.”
The study surveyed 264 participants in 2013 and 2014, with 8 out of 10 reporting at least one bad Facebook experience such as meanness, bullying, misunderstandings or unwanted conversations. Among the participants, 63% expressed they had four or more adverse experiences while using the online service.
In one-fourth of the respondents, moderate to severe depressive symptoms came out of the study with the risk being 3.2x higher than whose without negative Facebook experiences.
According to the researchers, particular factors were affecting the risk of depressive symptoms. Bullying and meanness associated with a 3.5x higher risk while unwanted contact linked to a 2.5x greater risk.
The study authors said one to three instances of bullying or meanness connected to an increased risk, while unwanted contact or misunderstandings led to an increased risk of depressive symptoms with four or more incidents.
The study explained the harder it is to the person, the more likely it is for them to have symptoms of depression.
The results published in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows us that we should control how we communicate with others even in social media.
The mental health of the youth depends on it.