Tags: too much | facebook | depression

Too Much Facebook? Depression Can Be One Result, Says Study

By    |   Tuesday, 03 March 2015 06:57 AM

Too much time spent on Facebook can cause depression, a new study has found.

"Facebook can be a fun and healthy activity if users take advantage of the site to stay connected with family and old friends and to share interesting and important aspects of their lives," Margaret Duffy, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, said in a blog post.

"However, if Facebook is used to see how well an acquaintance is doing financially or how happy an old friend is in his relationship — things that cause envy among users — use of the site can lead to feelings of depression."

Duffy and her co-authors, former doctoral students Edson Tandoc and Patrick Ferrucci, call Facebook use focused on comparison "surveillance use." After sampling over 700 college students, they found that those engaged more heavily in surveillance use report more depression.

"Social media literacy is important," said Tandoc, who is now an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

"Based on our study, as well as on what others have previously found, using Facebook can exert positive effects on well-being. But when it triggers envy among users, that’s a different story. Users should be self-aware that positive self-presentation is an important motivation in using social media, so it is to be expected that many users would only post positive things about themselves. This self-awareness, hopefully, can lessen feelings of envy."

A journalist at CNN Money reporting on the new study said that envy can sometimes be reasoned with when it arises — look for your friends' spelling mistakes — however many experts recommend less computer and Facebook time altogether.

The survey results and study on surveillance use was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

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Too much time spent on Facebook can cause depression, a new study has found.
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Tuesday, 03 March 2015 06:57 AM
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