The forthcoming paper in the American Economic Review correlated to the introduction of Facebook in each campus. It found a 9% increase in depression and 12% increase in anxiety disorders over the pre-FB period mean, which researchers said was due to Facebook increasing the ability of students to do unfavourable social comparisons. More worryingly, it noted a 23% increase in students reporting academic impairment as a result of mental health decline.
New York Times reporter Max Fisher took a deep dive into the impact of social media in his book, “The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World.” He shares with us how platform leaders have prioritized profit and growth over safeguards and how the polarizing effect of social media is only speeding up.
“I have taken a break from social media for my mental health, because I find Instagram and Twitter to be overstimulating, to be overwhelming,” Tom Holland said in a video he posted to Instagram. “I get caught up and I spiral when I read things about me online. And ultimately, it’s very detrimental to my mental state.”