Every generation is now hooked on social media. Facebook is touted to be the most effective way to remain connected, constantly being updated with what is going in the lives of friends through the social media site.
Many times, looking at posts on Facebook may lead to comparison. Users get to compare as how they lead their lives and how their friends do better. The comparison directly or indirectly leads to depression, according to research.
According to University of Houston (UH) researcher Mai-Ly Steers, spending ample amount of time on Facebook might lead to depression.
Steers’ research linking depression to Facebook is presented in the article “Seeing Everyone Else’s Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage is Linked to Depressive Symptoms,” published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
According to the research, Facebook and depressive symptoms are related. Steers carried out two studies on how social media might affect users’ emotional health.
“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,” Steers said.
The first study relates to the time spent on Facebook and the depressive symptoms among men, while the second tackles social comparisons.
According to Steers, reading posts of friends on Facebook might create emotional turbulence in the mind of readers, which in turn may lead to psychological problems.
“One danger is that Facebook often gives us information about our friends that we are not normally privy to, which gives us even more opportunities to socially compare,” Steers said. “You can’t really control the impulse to compare because you never know what your friends are going to post. In addition, most of our Facebook friends tend to post about the good things that occur in their lives, while leaving out the bad. If we’re comparing ourselves to our friends’ ‘highlight reels,’ this may lead us to think their lives are better than they actually are and conversely, make us feel worse about our own lives.”
Steers hopes Facebook users understand the negativity attached to extensive use of social media and restrict the use of the website based on their mental situation.