The more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to become depressed, a study has found.
Of the 19 to 32-year-olds who took part in the research, those who checked social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those who checked least often.
The 1,787 US participants used social media for an average 61 minutes every day, visiting accounts 30 times per week.
Of them a quarter were found to have high indicators of depression.
"One strong possibility is that people who are already having depressive symptoms start to use social media more, perhaps because they do not feel the energy to drive to engage in as many direct social relationships," said Dr. Brian Primack, director of Pitt's Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.
"People who engage in a lot of social media use may feel they are not living up to the idealized portraits of life that other people tend to present in their profiles.
This would be concerning, because it would imply that there is a potential vicious circle: people who become depressed may turn to social media for support, but their excessive engagement with it might only serve to exacerbate their depression."