Is Facebook affecting your well-being?
- 19 Aug
Facebook could play a large role in your mental health and well being.
Many of us use social media to keep up to date with friends and family whilst also using it as a way to kill time and unwind. We already know that the amount of Facebook users is high, and whilst we think that the social media network is just another way to check up on others doings what we fail to realise is the impact on what it could be doing to our health.
A new academic study has found that using the network can "undermine" your own sense of happiness and well-being. It also found that Facebook, when used negatively, impacts how users feel "moment to moment" and how satisfied they feel with their overall lives.
Researchers from the University of Michigan looked at 82 young adults and asked them how often they used Facebook and their feelings after. For two weeks the researchers sent participants five text messages each day asking them to check online. The study (which you can read here) was led by Ethan Krossand reads that:
"On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling such needs by allowing people to instantly connect, rather than enhancing well-being, as frequent interactions with supportive 'offline' social networks powerfully do, the current findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may predict the opposite result for young adults - it may undermine it."
It was also found that the more the participants frequented Facebook, the worse they felt; whether it be from ‘fear of missing out' or feeling that others' lives are more exciting than their own.
Before you go deleting your Facebook account it is important to know that the declines in happiness reported where quite minor and as long as you take everything with a pinch of salt, you should be ok. However, if you do find that Facebook is affecting you, there is always the option to suspend your account, without completely deleting it; meaning you can go back once you feel you are in a better frame of mind.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/299648
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