In what we're sure will not be the last study on the subject, researchers at the University of Wisconsin say that using social networks like Facebook doesn't aggravate depression. The authors, who recently published their work in the Journal of Adolescent Health, monitored 190 college students for a week. Every few hours during the day, they screened them using a standard questionnaire for clinical depression, then asked them how much they had been online and what they'd been doing. Though some students reported mild or moderate to severe depression, it wasn't correlated with how much they'd been using social networks.
The study directly follows a piece positing "Facebook depression" in adolescents, published early last year, along with a number of other works on social networks and mental health. Obviously, this doesn't conclusively rule out a relationship between the two: the sample size was small and the period of time relatively limited, although that's not unusual for a psychological study. But for now, it at least suggests that the relationship between mood and social networking is more complex than often depicted.