The Facebook Blues

selfieIs Facebook undermining your mental health? Do you feel the need to log into Facebook a few times a day to post something or see what other people are saying or doing? Do you feel down after doing that? If you feel like Facebook is negatively impacting your mood, you are not alone. Researchers from around the world are finding that interacting socially online may not be the best thing for your mental well being.

Why are researchers targeting Facebook?
Facebook is the biggest online social network. With over one billion monthly users, with half of those logging in daily, it’s leading the charge of our online social interactions. And since an increasing percentage of our society’s social interactions are happening online, it is important to understand how this type of communication is implicating our well being.

Why is Facebook causing a negative experience?
Recent studies coming out from Germany, University of Michigan and Utah Valley University are showing that Facebook is creating a negative impact on the mental health of a large percentage of its users. Why might that be? Well, when some users see their friends looking flawless in their profile pics and boasting on their Facebook walls about their achievements at work or in their love life, the user starts feeling envious, frustrated and dissatisfied with their life.

The subconscious part of Facebook users doesn’t seem to realize that most people do not put their trials, tribulations and hardships on Facebook. Most people use Facebook only to share, boast, embellish or self – promote themselves. If you actually saw those same immaculate, amazingly happy people in person, you would soon realize that the person that you read about online is not the same as the person you see when you visit with them face to face. They don’t have flawless, perfect complexions and bodies. Their love lives are not perfect. And they are not amazingly happy and excited by their lives at all times the way they purport themselves to be on on Facebook.

The bottom line:
If going on Facebook is taking a toll on your life satisfaction, then maybe its time to leave the site or reduce your usage. Instead of going online to find your social connections, meet with your friends instead for face to face time. Studies have shown that you will derive more satisfaction from that type of connection than online. So, take a break from the computer and go outside and socialize/play! Your mental health will thank your for it!

Sources: CNN, Reuters, ncbi.nlm.gov and PLOS ONE 

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  1. Isabel van Sunder says:

    I use Facebook to keep in touch with relatives and friends that live here and in other countries because it is easier when you don’t have their e-mails.

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