Your Social Media Habit Could Be Causing This Common Health Complaint

Time to log off.

If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us know that we spend too much time on our phones and on social media. The allure of endless information, memes, TikToks is incredibly hard to ignore, especially when everyone you love seems to be on there, too.

Yes, we should cut down and honestly, yes, we would be happier for it but the habit is a tough one to break.

According to a new study, though, we might be doing more than just creating endless cycles of dopamine. We may actually be causing and increasing inflammation in our bodies.

How social media causes inflammation

Almost a fifth of Brits (18%) already experience inflammation and, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, our social media habits can contribute to it.

“The results showed that the amount of social media use—assessed objectively by a screen-time app—was not only associated with higher inflammation at a single time point, but also increased levels of inflammation five weeks later,” says David Lee, an assistant professor of communication at the University at Buffalo and the paper’s lead author.

Studies have long shown the detrimental impacts that social media can have on our mental health with researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology finding that college-wide access to Facebook led to an increase in severe depression by 7% and anxiety disorder by 20% and this new research highlights just how harmful it can be to the entire body.

While this is an interesting advancement, Lee says there’s still more that needs to be assessed: “Given the prevalence of social media use in our daily lives, more research is needed to investigate these potential health effects using diverse methodologies.

“The next crucial step is to move beyond measures of screen time to really understand how and why social media use can have these effects.”