Social Media Pressure Among Teenagers May Cause Severe Anxiety In Their Later Life, Research Says

By Myraine Policarpio , Jan 06, 2016 04:38 PM EST

Most people nowadays spend most of their time online -- browsing the web, chatting with friends, blogging and updating the accounts on various social media sites. And for most adolescents, young adults, and even teenagers, doing this makes them being connected with the virtual world.

Published in the journal of Psychoneuroendocrinology, a recent research shows that "the more friends a teenager has on Facebook, the more stressed they are likely to be". Aside from becoming much stressed, spending hours online in a day also increases their future risk for anxiety, depression and even sleep disorders.

According to Medical News Todaythe study emphasized that extreme social media presence and exposure potentially affects the teen's later-life depression risks. Lead researcher Sonia Lupien, a professor of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal in Canada, as well as her colleagues, revealed that the number of friends a teenager has on Facebook may initially impact anxiety risks and stress levels.

They also determined particular reduction on the teenager's cortisol levels among teenagers who kept on "liking" their friends' posts, updates and tweets. Such prominent decrease was also found among those who shared their posts and sent them "encouraging words" via comments and direct messages over social media. In some studies, they have also shown that it may take 11 years before the onset of severe depression in children who consistently had high cortisol levels.

"While they did not observe any symptoms of depression among participants, their findings suggest that teenagers with a higher number of Facebook friends may be at greater future depression risk," the research explained. Likewise, it also noted that the most frequently used social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube. 

BBC News also included in a related news that adolescents and young adults are getting more anxious and depressed because of their constant use of social media. It also pointed out the same findings that such "high emotional attachment and investment in social media" were more likely to make them feel depressed and pressured.

It has been generally found that many felt exhausted and forced to respond, like and share immediately to messages, comments and posts. Certain drastic effects on the subjects' self-esteem, anxiety, depression, sleep quality and emotional investment in these social media were also observed, assessed and analyzed.

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