Scientists Find Link Between Heavy Facebook Use and Depressive Symptoms

By  //  March 12, 2016

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EDITOR’S NOTE: What the enormously popular online social networking service, Facebook, does to our psychological and emotional state has been the subject of much research over the past several years.

Dr. Jim Palermo

Dr. Jim Palermo

Reputable studies are starkly divided on the question of the sense of happiness and social connectedness resulting from the use of Facebook.

Medical News Today reports on recent research out of the University of Houston that concludes that Facebook can be an effective tool for connecting with new and old friends, but some users may inevitably begin comparing what’s happening in their lives to the activities and accomplishments of their friends, and become depressed.

— Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief

Scientists Find Link Between Heavy Facebook Use and Depressive Symptoms

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Researchers at the University of Houston found that depressed feelings and lots of time on Facebook and comparing oneself to others are linked.

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY — Nearly 900 million people use Facebook every day. One reason is to stay connected with friends. But some users who spend a lot of time on Facebook may find they are spending less time connecting and more time comparing.

Now a new study finds that this type of social comparison – coupled with heavy use of Facebook – is linked to depressive symptoms.

Study leader Mai-Ly Steers, a UH doctoral candidate in social psychology says: It doesn’t mean Facebook causes depression, but that depressed feelings and lots of time on Facebook and comparing oneself to others tend to go hand in hand.”

Writing in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, researchers from the University of Houston (UH), TX, describe how they carried out two studies to investigate how social comparison by Facebook users might affect their psychological health.

Both studies showed that Facebook users felt depressed when they compared themselves to their peers.

CLICK HERE to read the complete story on MedicalNewsToday.com.

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