Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
If you’re scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like more than a few times a day, it may actually dampen your mood—and keep you from getting sound sleep.
Social media can help us feel more connected and content. (Admit it: You’ve experienced a pick-me-up after posting a cool Tree Pose shot to Instagram!) Yet if you’re scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like more than a few times a day, it may actually dampen your mood—and keep you from getting sound sleep. In one recent study, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that those who check social media most often each week are 2.7 times more likely to have depression compared to those who check least frequently. Another study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, found that frequent users are three times more likely to have sleep disturbances than those who scroll less often—even when they aren’t surfing right before bed (which we know messes with slumber). While researchers say the jury is still out on what’s causing what—does depression or insomnia cause us to hop on social media to fill a void, or is social media creating that void?—the research may be reason enough to swap some screen time for a call to a friend or a 15-minute meditation.