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Upsurge in depressive

symptom amid COV-19

pandemic reveals

Human reality

in social media

engagement.

The prevalence of coronavirus has caused us a paradigm shift in our daily lifestyle. We have transitioned from our regular physical activity to on-web activities of Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Twitter, and TIKTOC – with all experiencing dramatic growth as more and more users flock to the platforms. Among the social media platforms enjoying new sign-ups are also Zoom, and Netflix.

Around this time, America and the United Kingdom for instance, have experienced more depression rates and several other mental health symptoms than many other countries. American population sample involving more than 169,243 people reported that depression (74%) and anxiety (65%) were mostly caused by isolation and loneliness – according to a Mental Health America study.

It is not saying the depression and anxiety trends during the pandemic are related. Due to isolation and lockdown orders, various digital platforms were welcoming new sign-ups and active users across the globe. Many people will attempt to soften the emotional loneliness, trepidation and isolation by transiting into additive social media users. It is, however, surprising that this transitioning is clearly not doing enough in easing human feelings – promoting our mental health amid COVID-19 pandemic. It is certainly obvious that shifting to digital platforms and social media because we are lonely or feel isolated doesn’t help us get through difficult times.

 

Humans are typically social beings – one way or another, we must engage in in-person contact as well as face-to-face socializing; and studies have shown the significant impact of that on depression (e.g., Elmer & Christoph early January study). Another study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by Oregon Health & Science University discovered that people with less frequent social contact (occurring less in a month) experienced double depressive symptoms than those who visit colleagues and relatives (with minimum 3 times in a week).

Surprisingly, one would expect that telephoning, chatting and emailing would solve the social contract issues; but, the same study revealed that simply maintaining contact by phone calls or emails had no effect on depression among people. Although telephone has over time been rated as the most common mode of social contact, however, it has not depicted any effect on depression among individuals – as depression rate has generally remained steady across different levels of telephone calling and also emailing.