Study: Facebook Makes You Feel Worse the More You Use It

Kim White/Getty Images
Kim White/Getty Images

The more you use Facebook, the worse you feel, according to a new comprehensive study.

“In our study, we used three waves of data from 5,208 adults from a national longitudinal panel maintained by the Gallup organization, coupled with several different measures of Facebook usage, to see how well-being changed over time in association with Facebook use,” explained study authors Holly B. Shakya and Nicholas A. Christakis. “Our measures of well-being included life satisfaction, self-reported mental health, self-reported physical health, and body-mass index (BMI). Our measures of Facebook use included liking others’ posts, creating one’s own posts, and clicking on links.”

“Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being,” they continued. “These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.”

Shakya and Christakis added in their report that “Although we can show that Facebook use seems to lead to diminished well-being, we cannot definitively say how that occurs.”

“We did not see much difference between the three types of activity we measured — liking, posting, and clicking links, (although liking and clicking were more consistently significant) — and the impact on the user,” they proclaimed. “Overall our results suggests that well-being declines are also matter of quantity of use rather than only quality of use. If this is the case, our results contrast with previous research arguing that the quantity of social media interaction is irrelevant, and that only the quality of those interactions matter.”

In March, Breitbart Tech reported another study found that just two hours of social media use a day can double the risk of feeling “socially isolated” in young adults.

The study, which was led by Brian A. Primack, the director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health, discovered that the longer young adults spend on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and even YouTube, the more likely they were to feel socially isolated.

Last month, it was also reported that “checking Facebook” was the “most likely mobile phone activity to result in an accident,” while Instagram was rated the most narcissistic platform in a college student survey.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington or like his page at Facebook.


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