An extensive body of work has explored the causal links between social media use, envy, and depression. However, the findings regarding the directional influence among these variables have been equivocal. This current study draws upon a three-wave longitudinal panel (N = 355) and focuses on the link between Facebook use and depression. Results from the cross-lagged panel analyses showed that increased Facebook use (t1) leads to increased depression (t2) which further leads to greater Facebook use (t3). This relationship is further enhanced when the role of envy is accounted for. Specifically, more Facebook use (t1) leads to greater users’ envy (t2) which leads to more depression (t3). Implications of the results are discussed.
- Cross-lagged panel
- social media