The Causal Connection: Social Media Use and Mental Health in Teens 

In January, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress, stated that scientific studies have not conclusively linked social media use to deteriorating mental health in young people. This claim is contested by many social scientists who have identified a causal relationship between teen social media use and mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.

This issue has gained urgency with surveys indicating nearly universal social media engagement among teens, and worrying rise in depression rates, especially among girls. Researchers are now investigating why social media negatively affects mental health and how these effects vary among different demographics.

Researchers must also dig into why, and under what circumstances, social media use can harm mental health.

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