A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) this Monday confirms what many teen psychologists have long suspected: there is a strong correlation between social media use and teenage depression.
|This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY|
Over the past few years, teen depression and suicide rates have been significantly on the rise. In fact, recent estimates indicate that teenagers are nearly 40 percent more likely to commit suicide than they were just one decade ago.
In response to these developments, there have been multiple theories about why these rates have increased. Though social media use represents just one cause of these changing figures, the results from JAMA’s new study are truly profound.
“Based on the upward social comparison, it may be that repeated exposure to idealized images lowers adolescents’ self-esteem, triggers depression, and enhances depression over time,” the report claims, eventually going on to say, “Furthermore, the heavier users of social media with depression appear to be more negatively affected by their time spent on social media, potentially by the nature of the information they select.”
In other words, not only does social media likely trigger the onset of depression in some teenagers—intense social media usage also makes already existing instances of teen depression even worse.
What is teen depression?
Depression, which is shorthand for major depressive disorder, is described by the Mayo Clinic as “a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest.” The definition then explains, “it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.”
Depression is clinically different than “moodiness” or ordinary sadness, which are both often found among teens that are psychologically healthy. Depression is a debilitating mental health condition that, when left unaddressed, can create problems with school, relationships, and motivation, and even lead to suicide.
Teens who are depressed will often lose interest in things they once enjoyed. They will often experience sleeping and eating issues and develop an irrationally pessimistic worldview. Depression is a spectrum disorder that presents itself differently among different individuals. According to Johns Hopkins, depression develops just about equally across demographics, social classes, and living environments (urban versus rural). It is more likely to occur among young people and is also more likely to develop among girls.
Why has teen depression been increasing?
A recent Johns Hopkins report on depression states, “The odds of adolescents suffering from clinical depression grew by 37 percent between 2005 and 2014.” The report estimates that roughly 3 million individuals between ages 12 and 17 experience at least one depressive episode per year. It also claims that depression-related patterns of self-harm have also been on the rise.
There are quite a few reasons why teen depression rates have been increasing. Overwhelming global challenges, such as climate change, the war on terror, and increased income inequality have all been cited as concerns among teens, who represent the first generation of Americans expected to be less wealthy than their parents.
Furthermore, while the percent of teens experimenting with drugs and alcohol has actually been decreasing, those who do abuse substances do so more often and more intensely than older generations.
But among all of the possible causes of increased teen depression, JAMA’s new study pinpoints that excessive screen time and social media usage is a problem unique to this generation. The report, which took place in Canada over six years, tracked the correlation between teen depression rates and different variations of “screen time” such as social media, television, and videogames.
While the study, like others on the subject, has its fair share of limitations (particularly when it comes to isolating variables), the results were still statistically significant. The study tested three different hypotheses trying to prove a link between screen time and depression: the displacement hypothesis, upward social comparison hypothesis, and the “reinforcing spiral” hypothesis. Each of these hypotheses were supported by strongly correlated data.
Should I limit my teenager’s social media usage?
In response to the JAMA study, many parents are likely wondering whether it is appropriate to limit their teenager’s screen time or social media use. This question, frankly, is one that psychologists are still having a difficult time answering. While social media use may increase the likelihood of developing depression, creating strict usage limits may have certain complications.
Most studies suggest that once a teenager uses social media for more than 3 hours per day, the likelihood of developing depression genuinely begins to increase. If social media is used for more than five hours per day, the rates rise even higher.
If your teen is experiencing depression, but only uses social media for small amounts of time each day, the depression is likely linked to a deeper underlying issue. If you are unsure where “the line” exists—which will vary, depending on your teen’s specific situation—consider consulting a child psychologist or speaking with your teen’s pediatrician.
What should I do if my teen is suffering from depression?
If you suspect that your teen is currently suffering from depression, the first thing you should do is get a formal diagnosis. Many of the symptoms of depression are correlated with other mental health conditions as well, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders.
The course of treatment that is right for your teen will depend on their personality, their situation, and the severity of their condition. In some cases, a doctor may recommend decreased use or even total abstinence from social media.
If the depression is linked to substance abuse disorders, then a residential treatment center (RTS) may be the most appropriate treatment option. There, your teen can remove themselves from distractions (such as drugs and social media) and focus on making recovery their foremost priority.
Many parents worry about taking control, due to their fear of their children hating them or becoming even more depressed. “It is imperative that parents get over the fear of taking charge over kids’ social media use,” states teen psychologist Meg Meeker, MD, “In fact, we must get over the fear of limiting any screen time.” Even small actions can have a major impact on your teen’s long-term wellbeing.
JAMA’s study, released Monday (July 15) suggests that there is a very strong correlation between teen depression and social media use. Other studies, conducted around the world, have also reached very similar conclusions. While understanding the causes of teen depression can be incredibly complex, the link between teen depression and social media use should not be overlooked by their parents.
We want the climate change government!
We want the climate change government!
The last few weeks have been marked by new symptoms of the climatic emergency: 10 billion trees and an area as large as Portugal have burned in Siberia , while in India an exceptional heat wave has left over 1700 dead on the ground . And even our country, although protected from normally moderate weather conditions, has had its tragic events, such as the whirlwind that killed a young woman in Fiumicino, or the record hailstorm in Pescara.
These phenomena are not the result of the whims of chance, but have a manager with name and surname: global warming. Centuries of climate-changing emissions have brought the planet to the brink of collapse, and if anyone still thinks this is only a problem for pandas and penguins, they are wrong. As it is already starting to do – extreme weather events, desertification and raising of the level of the seas, which will result in deaths, enormous economic damage and biblical migrations.
After decades of substantial indifference from public opinion, the effects of climate change have led more and more people to mobilize: millions of young people around the world took to the streets with the has tags , while London was paralyzed for weeks by activists of Extinction Rebellion. And even in the last few days important signals have arrived, such as the news of the Belfast shipyard occupied by workers asking for nationalization and ecological reconversion. However, politics remained at the window. While openly denial leaders like Trump and Bolsonaro rise to the world, from our analysis less than 1% of the tweets of the last three leaders of our country have been dedicated to the emergency climate, and newspapers have no room for the government crisis.
But if, as science tells us, we only have 11 years left to try to reverse course, we can only shudder at the hypothesis of other years lost behind technical, purpose, timed governments . The government that serves people, the only possible government is yes, the government of change, but climatic. This is an appeal to all those forces that applauded us when we occupied the squares throughout Italy, to all those who – across the board – believe the climate is a problem to be addressed. You have the opportunity to move from words to deeds, to show your commitment to the young, the weakest, and your land.
We need a government that declares the climate emergency, that cuts incentives to fossil that blocks new investments in climate-changing resources, that realizes a great plan for energy efficiency and renewable, that respects the Paris agreements and goes even further, following the indications that come from the scientific community. Be careful not to think that dealing with the climate means neglecting work, democracy, and health. A radical change in the production system, housing and cities in the green sense would be a formidable driving force for employment; the conversion of climate-changing companies almost always coincides with the elimination of polluting and dangerous plants for the health of citizens; facing the climate crisis means for the first time listening to the millions of young people worried about their future.
Are there political conditions? Probably not, none of the actors on the field has shown the necessary will, and perhaps our appeal will be a scream to a deaf man. But we have too little time and too much need to fight not to make this attempt, and to shoot until the last cartridge we have available.
Dear politicians, carry out the government of climate change, and show us that you are better than you have been so far.
Cloud Email: A Game Changer in Cybersecurity
Email is often overlooked, but it is the bedrock of most businesses. Over the years, cloud email has become a good alternative to on-premise email because of its efficiency, cost-effectiveness and low maintenance. While both have their pros and cons, it can’t be denied that cloud email has changed the face of online communication within companies. By the end of 2022, it’s expected that 87% of business email accounts will be on the cloud. So below we are going to take a look at a few reasons why the majority of businesses are going for cloud email as their email of choice.
Cost-effectiveness is what initially propelled cloud email to its current status. A post by Special Counsel details how the technology was initially created for personal use, but when businesses realized how cost-effective cloud email was, and how easily it aligned with their need to send massive volumes of messages, it made sense for them to adopt it. Cloud email is less expensive to deploy because there is no hardware or software to maintain. When you operate an in-house email, you have to pay for a server, the operating system and the email platform. Not to mention you have to pay for the electricity, the infrastructure and the staff to keep it running. The emergence of cloud email helped mid-sized businesses choose a more cost-friendly option for communication.
Improved disaster recovery and uptime
When you have a cloud email, the platform vendor usually provides the necessary support and maintenance. This significantly decreases the demand on your in-house IT department. Moreover, cloud email providers like Google and Microsoft have efficient disaster recovery infrastructure that your own enterprise might not have. This means that in the event of any major cyber-attack or unexpected incident, your cloud email servers have got you covered. Aside from disaster recovery, cloud emails have also improved uptime. A common misconception is that migrating to the cloud puts your business at risk of suffering email outages. While downtime is disastrous and costly, it is actually very rare when you use cloud email servers.
Sophisticated and robust security
Security flaws are everywhere. Our very own Mudassar Hassan talked about how vulnerabilities in WhatsApp and Telegram have led to hackers manipulating media files. Similarly, IT Pro Portal argues that hackers find monolith cloud email companies the most enticing targets. However, these companies also have the best tools to keep data secure. Cloud email servers like Microsoft and Google are still more likely to have robust and sophisticated security than private companies. While email data on a cloud isn’t fundamentally different from email on a premise server, the means of accessing information on a cloud-based email is certainly different, and much harder. Protection in terms of access is one of the top reasons why many businesses choose to make the switch to cloud.
Another top reason why businesses choose to migrate to cloud email is the ease of accessibility. For the most part, employees these days are mobile. They’re never just in the office, and are usually deployed across the country or abroad. Cloud email makes it easy to access company emails anytime, anywhere. It’s distributed across multiple global data centers, which means you can expect your employees to have a uniform email experience wherever your employees are.
Why Your Business Needs SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the technique used to boost a website’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs) on sites like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Developing an SEO strategy for your business enables a steady stream of potential customer traffic to your website allowing you to significantly increase your sales and revenue. The significance of SEO is often underplayed in business success but with the right strategy and implementation it can make a huge impact to your bottom line. However before diving into what approaches work best it’s first important to know that at the end of the day search engines, like Google, use metrics to rank organic search website placements.
SEO is a technical discipline that encompasses nearly every side of site-building and content development. If done effectively, it can create impressive ROI for the business, building brand strength and in turn perceived trust. Understanding the importance of SEO is critical in transforming a business’ ability to assist easily get in front of the right customers. The most common goal of SEO is to demonstrate your value to users and so in turn the search engines themselves. By improving your websites performance and usefulness to users, only then will pages start ranking for queries relevant to your content.
How Search Engine Optimization Works
Google ‘reads’ the content of websites available online using spiders through a process known as crawling. Crawling interprets key metadata and snippets of data that signal the relevancy of topics and overall usefulness to a prospective searcher of the content on every webpage. The spiders, of course, cannot literally “read” in the human sense. Rather it’s implied that they’ll look for certain terms, examining the quality relevancy of an organization’s credibility to seek out clues concerning the worth of the site.
Ranking and traffic are directly proportional. The higher a website ranks for keywords, the more traffic you’ll receive. The #1 position in Google on average includes a 27.5% Click-through rate consistent with the Advanced Web Ranking CTR study. This implies that if you rank #1 for a research term, every 100 times that term is searched you’ll statistically receive 27-28 visitors. With every position thereafter, the quantity drops significantly.
Websites that rank higher within the search results are seen as additionally trustworthy and credible. In fact, 98% of all searchers choose a business that’s listed on Page one of the results. That’s because users gravitate toward links at the top of, assuming those are the most effective business or brands for their needs. Nowadays, everybody “Google’s” what they need and if your website is one of the highest on the page during that search you have positioned yourself because of the credible/trustworthy choice.
IT’S AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE
When you really start to analyze and explore the benefits of SEO you’ll undoubtedly hear that “SEO could be a long process” and “results don’t happen overnight” that is true. Once you invest in SEO you’re doing this knowing that the payoff of the efforts typically won’t happen for 6-9 months. However, once the efforts begin being accomplished you benefit from free traffic for the predictable future.
SEO is one of the most cost-effective forms of promotion. Its underlying impact is the result of being in front of a potential customer at the exact time they are looking to engage services or buying a product. You are getting their attention at the best possible time. They have a “need”, they perform a search, they find your business and you have a “solution”. Once your website starts getting traffic from these sorts of queries, searchers are already curious and primed to listen, your job is to simply to convince them you’re the right choice. Once you begin ranking well for terms, it’s about maintaining a consistent flow traffic every month leading to a steady stream of customer inquiries.
YOUR COMPETITORS ARE DOING IT
If your business has products/services that are primarily searched for online, then you no doubt will have competitors that are already actively engaging in SEO. If you would like to grow your business and be wherever users are searching, then you too should invest in SEO services. That’s the only way to stay in the game long term unless, for some reason the working world stops using the internet to look for what they need, and that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
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