In recent years, scientists have tried to determine the impact of social media use on our mental health. In a new study published in the American Economic Review, researchers used the rollout of Facebook on college campuses to learn its effect on students’ mental health. They correlated the rollout of Facebook on different campuses across the country to 430,000 responses to the National College Health Assessment, a survey of mental health and well-being on college campuses. The researchers found that college-wide access to Facebook led to an increase in severe depression by 7 percent and anxiety disorder by 20 percent. This effect grew stronger with longer exposure to Facebook. While the mental health effects of social media are important to understand, this study doesn’t imply that all social media use is bad. But these links are important to study, as over 4.5 billion people in the world use social media.
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