Posted on
August 19th, 2013    

Using Facebook ‘makes people feel worse about themselves’

A recent study has found that the sense of well-being and the satisfaction with life of young adults can be reduced if they use Facebook.

The research, carried out by the University of Michigan found that checking Facebook made people feel worse about both issues. It also revealed that the more people browsed, the worse they felt.

The study followed the participants for two weeks and adds to the growing volume of research which says that Facebook can have negative psychological consequences.

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

A member of the British Psychological Society, Graham Jones (not involved in the study) said “It confirms what some other studies have found – there is a growing depth of research that suggests Facebook has negative consequences.”

However, Graham also added that there is plenty of research that shows Facebook has a positive effect on its users – currently over a billion – of which half log in daily.

To complete the survey, participants had to respond to five text messages per day, sent at varying times between 10.00 am and midnight. These texts contained links to the surveys and participants had to answer questions about how they felt, how lonely they were, how worried they were and how much they had used Facebook since the previous survey text.

Researchers also wanted to know how much interaction participants had had with people – either face-to-face or via phone – between texts.

The results revealed that the more time people spent using Facebook, the worse they felt after. However, it did not reveal whether people used Facebook more or less depending on their mood.

Over 75% of those who took part in the survey said that they shared good things with their friends on the site, whereas only 36% said they would share bad things too. Almost everyone said they used Facebook to stay in touch with friends, with only 23% saying they used the site to meet new people.

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