Regular Facebook Browsing Would Likely Make People Depressed, Miserable, New Study Says

First Posted: Dec 23, 2016 02:07 AM EST

A study indicates that regular use of social media such as Facebook could negatively affect one's emotional well-being and satisfaction with life. It also suggests taking a break from using social media.

The new study was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. It was led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen. The study warns users about the negative influence of browsing on social media without connecting with anyone.

The study involved more than 1,000 participants, mostly women. It indicates that always browsing on Facebook could affect one's emotional well-being by having a "deterioration of mood" from spending too long at other people's social media posts and stories.

Some users might be depressed over the boasts and posts of other users and feel irritable. The researchers said that this should not be for it will affect the user's emotions. They advise that the users must engage actively in the conversation and connect as well with people on social media. They also suggest stopping browsing on social media entirely in a week, according to BBC News.

In the past, the researchers from the University of Pittsburgh examined 1,787 U.S. adults, ages between 19 and 32. The results showed that three times the incidence of depression among the most active users of social media sites such as Facebook, Reddit and Twitter than among those who used them the least. On the other hand, this does not conclude that the social media sites are triggering depression. The study also indicated that it may be that people who already are depressed are turning to social media to fill a void.

Another study from the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark was conducted. The researchers asked half of 1,095 people, mostly were regular Facebook users, to refrain from using Facebook for one week. The study indicated that the people who had taken a break from Facebook felt happier and were less sad and lonely. Likewise, those on a Facebook "fast" had significantly had a higher level of satisfaction and less stress than the regular users, according to NPR.

Meanwhile, Robert Kraut, a psychologist from Carnegie Mellon University and a co-author of one of the studies, advised not to treat it (Facebook or other social media) as a simple entertainment and consume everything that is put in front of you. He further said to use it more proactively instead to communicate with people that you care about.

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