Scrolling Through Facebook Might Make You Unhappy

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As the most popular social media, Facebook has more than one billion people online every day. Facebook now becomes a platform not only for connecting with people, but for absorbing information and news happens around the globe. It changes our lives in a positive way. Yet, several researches suggest that it also has a drawback: using Facebook might decrease life satisfaction and even make you sad.

 

Why does Facebook make you sad?

Two main reasons are account for depression after using Facebook. First, it wastes you time. A study published in “Computers in Human Behavior” in 2014 shows that instead of using social media for social purpose, most of users passively consume information and that is not satisfying. Studies also suggests that people log out Facebook feeling like they have wasted their time and the feeling leads to a sharp decline in the moods. Secondly, it makes you envying your friends. According a study that will be published in “Current opinion in Psychology” in the June 2016 suggests that envying your friends on Facebook might result in depression. Social comparison occurs when you see people’s lovely gathering and exciting vacation and inevitably compare your live with those friends on Facebook. This comparison of feeling increases the possibility of depression.

 

Why you keep using Facebook?

Ironically, people just can not stop using Facebook despite the possible depression. It is because you psychologically predict Facebook will save you from stress and give you a short break without noticing the fact that it is actually ruining your mood. This “affective forecasting” make you go back into the cycle for more social media activities.

 

Who can prevent Facebook from controlling you?

Then, how to take back the control of you own mood? Be conscious of the fact that social media might harm your emotion can help you control your behaviors such as limiting your unconscious scrolling, reducing the amount of time you use and preventing Facebook to decrease your productivity. Also, do not compare with others. People tend to show bright side of life publicly and it is not mentally healthy to become envious. Compare with yourself.

We benefit a lot from social media, yet we fail into the control of social media as well. It becomes a vicious cycle that we look at social media for saving us from getting bored, but it is actually the “social media” that makes people feel more bored. It is time to think about the proper social media activities that is beneficial to both social life as well as mental life.

 

Reference:

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/how-facebook-makes-us-unhappy

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2 Responses to Scrolling Through Facebook Might Make You Unhappy

  1. sydhavely says:

    Very pertinent post, Tina. The FB user you describe could be a pedestrian in the mall just observing people. Is it edifying, informational, or just observational? Does it make you feel better, worse, or about the same about your own lie? You’re right, most people “consume” FB, they don’t contribute. I’m one of the guilty. I use it as a warm-up for my day’s activity or as a break. It’s not really part of the to-do list, but I look at it everyday. We always have to ask ourselves why we do things. Well-done.

  2. armour52 says:

    Tina and Syd, I agree. You have to be very clear about your purpose for using Facebook in the first place and realize that people are trying to create and maintain their personal brands. That leads to creating an image they think will impress onlookers. Or, content can be so negative, you may as well watch a horror movie. Often, either way, you walk away from the computer feeling underwhelmed and bad. Rarely, posts are positive amidst so much negative content that exists in the world today. I feel people are either looking to lift themselves up or are reflecting the “spirit of the air.”

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