STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) Social Media is praised for it’s ability to share thoughts in an instance and connect friends across the world. But research has shown that excessive users also reap some unwanted benefits. .
“I have a Facebook, twitter, instagram, a youtube account, a google plus account,” said social media user Truitt McKinney.
These social media outlets and others have brought the world to our fingertips. But is it information overload? Doctors have found that millions of people are suffering from depression and social media is to blame.
“You’re not living your life. It’s like you’re living in a fake world or something,” said social media user Margaret Davenport.
Dr. John Forde at Mississippi State isn’t your typical professor. He not only allows tweeting in his class, but gives extra credit for it. Forde says his students have problems separating themselves from the cyberworld for too long.
“We feel that we’re expected. Oh, I got an email I better respond. Somebody sent me a text I better respond or somebody wants to be my friend. We have this urge and need and I think some of that is expected and normal but we want to respond as quickly as we can to everybody.”
While users often thrive off the response of their friends and followers, negative feedback has an equally strong effect.
“After reading what people say sometimes I get a little mad or stressed out,” said McKinney.
Forde and other communications experts also fear that the more comfortable someone is on a computer, the more anxious they may become during face to face conversations.
” There are people in communications that are concerned that people can’t really communicate well one-on-one.”
While thousands of people are continuing to sign up for twitter and Facebook everyday, doctors are still measuring the effects of a world submersed in technology.
Experts are advising people to turn off their cell phone and take a break from the computer to help alleviate depression and anxiety.