It’s Official: Using Facebook Makes You Sad

Although it might seem harmless, killing time on Facebook can put your happiness and sense of well-being at risk.

It’s Official: Using Facebook Makes You Sad Photo by Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

Do you feel down or depressed after spending some time on Facebook? You’re not alone.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveals what many people have suspected for some time: Frequent Facebook use can have a negative impact on your sense of well-being.

Researchers at the University of California conducted a three-year study of around 5,200 adults — analyzing their activity on the social media site, as well as their physical and mental state of being. The results of the study are pretty depressing, albeit not surprising. According to CNBC, the report says:

Exposure to the carefully curated images from others’ lives leads to negative self-comparison, and the sheer quantity of social media interaction may detract from more meaningful real-life experiences.

The researchers found that the more time you spend on Facebook, the worse off you are. The researchers write that “the nature and quality of this sort of connection is no substitute for the real world interaction we need for a healthy life.”

If using social media is causing you to feel depressed or angry, take steps to fix the problem. In some cases, a simple decision to “unfollow” can be a wise choice. As we have written:

If you have friends who routinely post political rants or share “news” stories that really get your blood boiling, you can choose to ignore them. Or if that’s too difficult, simply unfollow them on Facebook. It’s quick and easy. Just go to their profile, click on “following” and select “unfollow.”

Read more in “4 Tips for Turning Down the Heat on Social Media.”

How much time do you spend on Facebook or other social networking sites? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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