Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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LETTERS TO EDITOR  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 222-223
Use of social networking site and mental disorders among medical students in Kolkata, West Bengal


1 Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kamarhati, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kamarhati, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

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Date of Web Publication11-Mar-2019
 

How to cite this article:
Barman L, Mukhopadhyay DK, Bandyopadhyay GK. Use of social networking site and mental disorders among medical students in Kolkata, West Bengal. Indian J Psychiatry 2019;61:222-3

How to cite this URL:
Barman L, Mukhopadhyay DK, Bandyopadhyay GK. Use of social networking site and mental disorders among medical students in Kolkata, West Bengal. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 8];61:222-3. Available from: http://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2019/61/2/222/253837




Sir,

We must thank the author(s) of the referred letter for critical review of our published article.[1] We agree that the use of tracking applications may elicit more objective data regarding the use of social networking sites (SNSs) with almost no scope of recall bias. We also agree that the analysis of the content of SNSs for language and other responses (likes, share, emoji, etc.) will produce more rich data which are expressive of mental status of the individual.

However, the process of using those application for recording data regarding the use of SNSs with permission of study participants will pose a real challenge to the investigators. Besides, the language and responses of the participants may not be spontaneous and are liable to social desirability bias when they know that they are being tracked and all interactions in SNSs are recorded.

It was reported by Seabrook et al. that a perceptual bias may creep during the interpretation of quality of interaction in SNSs they are exposed to in case of subjective reporting by the participants of interactions in SNSs, than objective tracking by different computer/smartphone applications.[2] Here, lies a critical question on “superiority” of objective data over subjective responses of the participants. The systematic review made it clear that subjective value judgment of an individual regarding the quality of his/her interactions in SNSs would be more expressive of his/her mental status than the actual interaction.[2] Hence, the “arbitrary” categories such as “using SNSs in early morning/late night” is not only an estimate of the objective use of SNSs but also a measure of the perceptual issues of the participants regarding this. Both are important in research on mental health, and they are not mutually exclusive in any way.

We strongly believe that the learned readers of this esteemed journal can interpret the study findings in the light of the strength and limitation of the referred study.[1]

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Barman L, Mukhopadhyay DK, Bandyopadhyay GK. Use of social networking site and mental disorders among medical students in Kolkata, West Bengal. Indian J Psychiatry 2018;60:340-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
2.
Seabrook EM, Kern ML, Rickard NS. Social networking sites, depression, and anxiety: A systematic review. JMIR Ment Health 2016;3:e50.  Back to cited text no. 2
    

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Correspondence Address:
Dipta Kanti Mukhopadhyay
Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kamarhati, Kolkata, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_489_18

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