The study, posted on Plos One, showed that young people who looked at Facebook regularly felt a negative impact on their happiness and well-being in life. It is one of two recent studies that surveyed the effects of Facebook on people, with one study pointing out earlier this week that people who post photos frequently on the social media site are at risk of damaging their relationship with friends in real life.
Researchers for the University of Michigan study summarized their findings in the report: “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.”
Participants in the survey answered questions about their feelings, including how worried they felt and how lonely they felt at the moment. They were also asked how often they used Facebook. The researchers texted the participants at various times of the day between 10:00 a.m. and midnight and the participants would answer the questions from the links sent by text.
From the answers collected in the survey, they found out that Facebook users were more connected with their friends and family than non-Facebook users, but when Facebook users started logging on more frequently, they become more dissatisfied with their overall outlook on life.
Ethan Kross, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan and co-author of the study, said to ABC News: “Everyday Facebook use leads to declines in subjective well-being, both how happy you feel moment to moment and how satisfied you feel with your life.”
Graham Jones, an internet psychologist not connected with the study, told the BBC: “It confirms what some other studies have found – there is a growing depth of research that suggests Facebook has negative consequences.”
Although the University of Michigan study found negative impacts on people’s well-being on Facebook, an earlier study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in June showed that more time on one’s Facebook personal page had a positive impact on self-esteem.
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