Nov 23, 2021 1 min, 3 secs

While social media has been widely linked to anxiety and depression in teenagers, new evidence suggests that platforms such as TikTok and Instagram can leave middle-aged adults feeling sad, too.

"We were asking people who weren't depressed about their social media use," said Dr.

"Then we came back later to see if the people who were using certain kinds of social media were more likely to be depressed.".

Compared to adults who did not use social media, "people who were using Facebook, people who were using TikTok, and people who were using Snapchat were substantially more likely to come back and tell us they felt depressed the next time they filled out the survey," said Perlis, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Remember that social media tends to act as a kind of "sizzle reel" for people, advised Mitch Prinstein, chief science officer for the American Psychological Association.

“Our brains were not built for this kind of social interaction.

And social media is kind of hijacking the need for social interaction with something very artificial and insufficient,” he said.

Perlis said his team found the association between social media use and increased symptoms of depression even after accounting for factors such as isolation during the pandemic.

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