You’ve heard about studies that found using social media can have negative consequences for teenagers and children, but a new study finds using them can also make people ages 50+ feel depressed.
Harvard University researchers found that middle-aged adults are “substantially” more likely to be depressed if they used platforms favored by youngsters, such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, maybe because it makes them feel old.
Still, researchers could not rule out that depressed people may be more likely to use social media in the first place, perhaps as an escape. They also found that while older adults reported feeling more depressed after using TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, those under age 35 reported feeling more depressed if they used Facebook.
One theory is that people feel more out of place by using social media that doesn’t match their age profile, leading them to feel out-of-sync. Study author Professor Roy Perlis adds it could be that rather than social media causing depression, using it could be a sign you are vulnerable to depression.