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Is your child’s social media use leading them down a road to depression? Maybe not.

Researchers in the United Kingdom recently released results of a new study that found social media is leaving us more anxious than ever.

In addition to general anxiety, study respondents pointed to their social media use as a contributing factor to a serious lack of sleep and challenges in their relationships.

The study was the latest to remind us of the potential risks of isolation and feelings of negative self worth that can be amplified during prolonged periods online.  Even the American Academy of Pediatrics warned parents about the dangers of social media last year, coining the phrase “Facebook Depression.”

But now, a new University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health study refutes the claim that a large amount of time spent on Facebook and other social media sites increases a person’s risk of depression.

What’s more, after surveying nearly 200 University of Wisconsin-Madison students between the ages of 18 and 23, the study’s authors found no significant association between Internet use and the probability of depression.

Lauren Jelenchick, one of the study’s authors and an incoming student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, believes her study suggests it might be unnecessary to warn parents of a risk of depression should their children spend a lot of time on the Internet.

“Our study is the first to present scientific evidence on the suggested link between social media use and risk of depression,” said Jelenchick.  “The findings have important implications for clinicians who may prematurely alarm parents about social media use and depression risk.”

Evidently, it may be safe to dive headfirst into the social media waters after all.

The latest research was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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