Facebook can lead to unhappiness, according to new study
University of Michigan researchers find a correlation between using the social network and a decline in user-well being
Using Facebook may makes us feel more connected, but it does not necessarily make us happy, according to the findings of a new study.
Research comparing how 82 young adults felt at different times of the day with their Facebook use found that regular use of the social network predicted a decline in user well-being.
Researchers based at the University of Michigan sent text messages to each participant five times a day to examine how they were feeling emotionally from “moment-to-moment” and how "satisfied" they were with their lives.
Questions the participants were asked to answer included: "How do you feel right now? How worried are you right now? How lonely do you feel right now? How much have you used Facebook since the last time we asked? How much have you interacted with other people "directly" since the last time we asked?"
Results showed that the more the participants were active on the social networking site during one period, the worse they subsequently felt.
But the more face-to-face contact participants had with other people, the happier they gradually became.
They also found no evidence for two alternative possible explanations for the finding that Facebook undermines happiness - people were not more likely to use Facebook when they felt bad.
In addition, although participants were more likely to use Facebook when they were lonely, loneliness and Facebook use both independently predicted how happy participants felt afterwards.
Ethan Kross, lead author on the study said: "On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection.
"But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result - it undermines it."
"This is a result of critical importance because it goes to the very heart of the influence that social networks may have on people's lives," added John Jonides, co-author of the study.
Their results were published in the PLOS ONE journal.
The research concluded that whilst Facebook “provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection”, rather than improving well-being “these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.”
Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Any terrorist seizure of the plane ‘would have required one hell of a piece of planning’
Friends in high places: Seth Rogen compiles list of all the celebrities he’s smoked pot with
Oscar Pistorius trial: Photographs of Paralympian splattered in blood after Reeva Steenkamp shooting shown in court
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 3 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...