A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, The Worse You Feel
A study on Facebook and happiness has found that the use of the social media platform has a negative effect on its users’ wellbeing over time.
Actions such as clicking the “like” button, updating one’s status or clicking a link were associated with a decrease of 5-8 percent in self-reported mental health on average.
The study suggested that there is the danger of prolonged use of the social media platform when users believe that they are engaging in human interaction, when in fact they are missing out on the benefits of face to face interactions.
Facebook’s mission “to make the world more open and connected” is a familiar phrase among the company’s leadership. However, the study shows that connecting more than 1.1 billion users around the world may come at a psychological cost.
The study also showed that using social media may lead to internet addiction, low self-esteem and reduced investment in meaningful activities.
The Harvard Business Review wanted to gain clarity on the relationship between wellbeing and social media.
It found that while the use of Facebook was negatively associated with wellbeing, real-world social networks were positively associated with overall wellbeing.
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Some skeptics have wondered if perhaps people with poor wellbeing are more likely to use social media as opposed to social media causing poor levels of wellbeing.
However, prior studies have found that social media could have positive impacts on people’s social status through increased reinforcement of real-world relationships and increased social support.