Facebook Use Linked To Depressive Symptoms





Mindblower, 08 Apr - 2015 ,

Facebook Use Linked To Depressive Symptoms
Credit: University of Houston (UH)

The social media site, Facebook, can be an effective tool for connecting with new and old friends.

Findings suggest amount of time spent and social comparison on Facebook impacts mental health.

The social media site, Facebook, can be an effective tool for connecting with new and old friends. However, some users may find themselves spending quite a bit of time viewing Facebook and may inevitably begin comparing what's happening in their lives to the activities and accomplishments of their friends.

According to University of Houston (UH) researcher Mai-Ly Steers, this kind of social comparison paired with the amount of time spent on Facebook may be linked to depressive symptoms. Steers' research on the topic is presented in the article, "Seeing Everyone Else's Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage is Linked to Depressive Symptoms" published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

The concept of social comparison is not new. In fact, it has been studied in face-to-face contexts since the 1950's. However, engaging in social comparisons on online social media sites may make people feel even worse.

"One danger is that Facebook often gives us information about our friends that we are not normally privy to, which gives us even more opportunities to socially compare. You can't really control the impulse to compare because you never know what your friends are going to post. In addition, most of our Facebook friends tend to post about the good things that occur in their lives, while leaving out the bad. If we're comparing ourselves to our friends' 'highlight reels,' this may lead us to think their lives are better than they actually are and conversely, make us feel worse about our own lives."


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