I found this blurb in the OP to be more interesting than I expected. These parts interested me.
“Because social media has become such an integrated component of human interaction, it is important for clinicians interacting with young adults to recognize the balance to be struck in encouraging potential positive use, while redirecting from problematic use,” said senior author Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.
Examples of and categories of potential positive use and problematic use needs to be better determined.
Lead author Lui yi Lin, B.A., who will be graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine this spring, emphasized that, because this was a cross-sectional study, it does not disentangle cause and effect.
“It may be that people who already are depressed are turning to social media to fill a void,” she said.
Conversely, Ms. Lin explains that exposure to social media also may cause depression, which could then in turn fuel more use of social media. For example:
• Exposure to highly idealized representations of peers on social media elicits feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier, more successful lives.
• Engaging in activities of little meaning on social media may give a feeling of “time wasted” that negatively influences mood.
• Social media use could be fueling “Internet addiction,” a proposed psychiatric condition closely associated with depression.
• Spending more time on social media may increase the risk of exposure to cyber-bullying or other similar negative interactions, which can cause feelings of depression.
This is good information if it can be used to help steer people in the right direction and give people more awareness. The difficulty is in disseminating that information to the right people at the right time.