According to a study published in the Lancet, people who spend a lot of time on social media tend to feel more depressed and lonely than those who don’t. Another study found that people who check Facebook late at night are more likely to feel depressed and unhappy. However, it is not clear whether social media use causes depression or whether people who are already depressed are more likely to use social media.
In May 2023, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released an advisory calling attention to the effects of social media on youth mental health. He notes that at crucial periods of adolescent brain development, social media use is predictive of decreases in life satisfaction, as well as additional concerns around body image, sleep issues, and much more.