The more we use Facebook, the worse we feel.
That’s what social psychologists at the University of Michigan report after tracking how 82 young adults used their Facebook accounts over a two-week period. When the participants started the study, they rated how satisfied they were with their lives. During the following two weeks, the researchers texted them at two-hour intervals five times a day to ask about how they felt about themselves, as well as how much time they had spent on Facebook since the last time they were texted. The more time people spent on Facebook during a single two-hour period, the worse they reported feeling.
“My hunch is that there are likely a variety of factors that may be driving this effect,” says lead study author Ethan Kross, a social psychologist at the University of Michigan, who published his results in the journal PLOS One. “Maybe when you’re looking at Facebook you’re engaging in a lot of social comparisons. Maybe when you’re on Facebook you’re not engaging in other kinds of activities that may be good for you, like getting outside, exercising and interacting with people in daily life.”
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