Is Facebook Messing With Your Mental Health?

Face it, you are probably one of millions worldwide who check their Facebook, Twitter or other social media account several times daily. You might even be a tad compulsive about it from time to time viagra espagne sans ordonnance.

For many people (one-half billion daily), Facebook is the preeminent social networking site to keep up with friends and family. It would seem that, with all these people interacting with so many friends, that social networking followers would have a strong support system and a happy life, feeling important and loved.

Recent research points out, however, that Facebook might actually be undermining your well-being and life satisfaction, messing with your mental health. Here’s why:

Negative Satisfaction With Life

Social psychologists at the University of Michigan studied 82 young adults using Facebook over a two-week period and found that, during a single two-hour period, the more time people spent on Facebook, the worse they reported feeling.

When the same researchers compared the individuals’ average use of Facebook over the two weeks with how satisfied they felt with their lives, the same correlation emerged: the more one uses Facebook, the worse one feels.

The researchers concluded that, the more Facebook usage people engage in, the more negative they feel about their life moment-by-moment, and the more dissatisfied they were with their life in general over time.

Facebook’s Impact on Mental Health

An increasing number of studies on Facebook’s impact on our mental health show that even average usage of Facebook may hurt our well-being in the following ways:

  • Low self-esteem and depression: we naturally tend to compare ourselves to our peers. If the people we’ve friended are posting happy, significant life accomplishments, we end up feeling worse about our lives for lack of having anything good to report.
  • Stress: A study conducted by the Edinburgh Napier University showed that, out of 200 people surveyed, a majority felt some type of stress in relation to Facebook, with 12 percent saying that the site makes them feel anxious. The study also found that those people with a large number of Facebook friends experienced the most stress.
  • Addiction: Many studies have shown that quitting Facebook and Twitter was more difficult than giving up cigarettes or alcohol.
  • Eating disorders: According to a recent survey of 600 Facebook users, ages 16 to 40, more than half (both males and females) say that seeing pictures of themselves and others on the site “makes them more conscious about their own body and their weight.”
  • Social Phobias: Often, interacting with several people on Facebook can be draining, causing you to hesitate to interact with real, in-person conversation.
  • Distraction: Social media distracts from real life, forcing you to focus on trivial things. This can prevent you from being present in real life.
  • Promotes FOMO: Facebook usage can promote the fear of missing out, causing stress at the thought of missing out on something good posted to the site.
  • Negative relationship outcomes: Several studies have shown that social networking fosters attachment issues, uncertainty and partner surveillance, all of which lead to negative outcomes in relationships.

Facebook First Aid

Using Facebook does not always have a negative effect on the human psyche. If used in the right way, social media can expand your social circle and cure loneliness issues.

One key to allowing Facebook to add to your sense of well-being is to actually engage with your online contacts. Don’t just present the positive online version of yourself while using Facebook – go out and partake in face-to-face relationships. Doing so will release good chemicals in your brain and will improve your outlook. Plus, it will help you overcome any feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Plus, when your friends post good news or great vacation photos, be genuinely happy for them. Force yourself to read their posts and give them a “like” or two. The cost to you is minimal but it may allow you to feel better, especially in your ability to overcome your insecurities.

In the end, Facebook can mess with your mental health, if you allow it to. By maintaining vigilance over your feelings and engaging more in a social context, you’ll know when it is best to use Facebook, and when to just say “no”.

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