Facebook’s mission “to make the world more open and connected” is a familiar refrain among company leaders. But the latest research shows connecting 1.1 billion users around the world may come at a psychological cost.
A new University of Michigan study on college-aged adults finds that the more they used Facebook, the worse they felt. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, found Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.
“There’s a huge amount of interest … because Facebook is so widespread,” says research co-author John Jonides, a University of Michigan cognitive neuroscientist. “With something like half a billion people who use Facebook every day, understanding the consequences of that use on our well being is of critical importance.”
Researchers tested the variables of happiness and satisfaction in real time on 82 participants. The researchers text-messaged them five times a day for two weeks to examine how Facebook use influenced how they felt. Participants responded to questions about loneliness, anxiety and general emotional well-being.
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