Social Support and Its Effects on Social Networking Site Use: Are Individuals Showing Signs of Depression Using Social Networking Sites More Often Seeking Social Support?

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Prince, Taylor
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Middle Tennessee State University
Social networking sites have become an integral part of modern society with people spending nearly double their time communicating through networking sites instead of face to face (Shensa et al., 2020). Although research has been conducted on how people use these sites and the effects it may bring, there has not been much research as to why people use the sites and what they are hoping to get from them. This study examined if people who show moderate to severe symptoms of depression use social networking sites more often than those who do not and if these users felt a stronger social support system online. The survey was distributed via the researcher’s personal social networking sites and by other users. The data collected was then examined using IBM SPSS version 26. Cross tabulations and ANOVA were run on the data to test the hypotheses. It was found that users who suffer from moderate to severe symptoms of depression spend more time online but they did not feel a stronger connection to the online community than someone who did not show symptoms of depression.
Depression, Mental Illness, Social Networking Sites, Social Support, Public health