Coronavirus Depression Spike Suggests Social Media Is No Substitute For Real Life

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Depression has surged in parallel with an increase in social media and digital technology usage.

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The coronavirus pandemic has caused many of us to shift our lives to digital tech platforms, with the likes of Zoom, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter all experiencing strong growth as much of the world’s population isolates itself.
At the same time, rates of depression and other mental health issues have skyrocketed in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom. In July, a Mental Health America study found that “loneliness and isolation” is most commonly cited as the cause of depression and anxiety in the United States (in 74% and 65% of cases, respectively).
These two trends are related. As more people isolate at home, more digital platforms witness a surge in users and customers. Many of us may be attempting to soften our feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety by migrating to the internet, yet this migration clearly isn’t doing a very good job of maintaining our collective mental health. While this may be an obvious statement to make, it therefore seems that digital technology and social media really aren’t an adequate substitute for real …

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