Categorized | Mobile & Wireless

Study: Facebook Impacts Happiness

Another round of stories appeared last week suggesting that heavy Facebook use makes young people feel worse about themselves, possibly because when they see how others are leading their lives, they feel inferior.

Getty Images/Ian McKinnell

Getty Images/Ian McKinnell

The stories cited new research conducted at the University of Michigan and published in the Public Library of Science’s open access journal, PLOSone. The study was titled, “Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults.”

“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection,” the abstract said. “Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.”

The researchers looked at the self-reported Facebook use and moods of 82 young people who actively used Facebook for a couple of weeks. They texted them five times daily to ask questions about their Facebook use and overall feelings that day.

Researchers found unhappiness levels rose with Facebook use — at least, those using Facebook the most reported feeling worse about themselves than the people who used it less frequently. Social comparison was theorized as a cause, rather than pre-existing feelings of insecurity, loneliness or depression among the heavy users.

For additional details, read the full academic study at PLOSone.

People suffering from Facebook addiction may find this study eye-opening. Of course, plenty of other options exist for connecting online, including a new social network designed to achieve the opposite effect the Michigan researchers found. It’s a new social network called simply, Happier.

Then again, anyone can take a break at any time and temporarily deactivate their Facebook.

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