A new University of Michigan study on college-aged adults has found that the more they used Facebook, the worse they felt.
According to CBS News “researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that people who used Facebook were less happy after two weeks, and they were more glum than usual at the time they were using the social network.”
In a press release, University of Michigan social psychologist Ethan Kross, lead author of the article and a faculty associate at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) said he following:
“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result – it undermines it.”
John Jonides, University of Michigan cognitive neuroscientist and another author of the paper said the following:
“This is a result of critical importance because it goes to the very heart of the influence that social networks may have on people’s lives.”
According to the press release, the study found that the more people used Facebook during one time period, the worse they subsequently felt.
“The authors also asked people to rate their level of life satisfaction at the start and end of the study. They found that the more participants used Facebook over the two-week study period, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time.”
According to CBS News, Dr. Guy Winch, a New York psychologist and author of “Emotional First Aid,” told TIME that reading posts from other users that brag about their accomplishments can make others feel more down about themselves.
“Patients feel really bad: they went online and liked their friends’ vacation photos, but their friend didn’t like theirs.
“In the throes of a nasty breakup, their ex wrote something really bad about them and blasted it all over. I hear this literally all the time.
“People have huge emotional experiences on social media, especially Facebook, and they bring it into sessions.”
“This is the advantage of studying Facebook use and well-being as dynamic processes that unfold over time”, said emotion researcher Philippe Verduyn, another co-author of the article and post-doctoral fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (Belgium).
“It allows us to draw inferences about the likely causal sequence of Facebook use and well-being.”