Multiple Media Usage Linked To Depression And Anxiety

Does use of media technologies deplete our mental health? Or is it that the depressed try to numb themselves with glowing rectangles? Medical News Today writes:

Using multiple forms of media at the same time – such as playing a cellphone game while watching TV – is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression, scientists have found for the first time.

Michigan State University’s Mark Becker, lead investigator on the study, said he was surprised to find such a clear association between media multitasking and mental health problems. What’s not yet clear is the cause. “We don’t know whether the media multitasking is causing symptoms of depression and social anxiety, or if it’s that people who are depressed and anxious are turning to media multitasking as a form of distraction from their problems,” said Becker.

Participants were asked how many hours per week they used two or more of the primary forms of media, which include television, music, cell phones, text messaging, computer and video games, web surfing and others. While overall media use among American youth has increased 20 percent in the past decade, the amount of time spent multitasking with media spiked 120 percent during that period.

8 Comments on "Multiple Media Usage Linked To Depression And Anxiety"

  1. Should prove interesting when they find out the direction of the causal relationship.

    Personally, I suspect that it will be more complicated than just “internet” causes Depression, or Depression causes people to retreat to the “internet”.

    Certainly some “Vicious” and maybe a few “Virtuous” Cycles involved.

  2. Does anyone think the internet could give some unhappy people a sense of a new world. A new life that sucks less than the one they truly live in? Personally I’d lean towards thinking they use different outlets as distraction but seeing as they might have poor decision making skills these distractions might not be constructive at all since it still is their regular life.

  3. Noah Way | Dec 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    Antisocial behavior (solitary behaviors like net surfing and video game playing) are both the cause and the result of depression and anxiety. It is a self-reinforcing negative feedback loop. Go play outside, make some friends, socialize. As if we need another study to state the obvious.

  4. InfvoCuernos | Dec 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

    I think I can clear this up pretty easily: were there depressed people before the internet? There ya go.

  5. BuzzCoastin | Dec 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm |

    in a whirled where wee are bombarded incessantly with media
    visible & invisible, obvious & stealth
    retreat, depression, ignorance and complacency
    are viable defenses against the onslaught

  6. zombieslapper | Dec 10, 2012 at 1:06 am |

    Here’s an idea: Turn off the t.v.

    After months of going without one I plugged an old television set in and I had forgotten how annoying AND depressing commercials & local news can be.

  7. ravencrow | Dec 10, 2012 at 2:17 am |

    I fail to understand any correlation. So you’re saying, if I play a game and watch tv, that automatically makes me depressed?? Without taking in the fact that I also go outside quite frequently as well, and have a good social life. This is basically saying everyone will react to the same thing. A collectivist theory.

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