Social networking portal that helps people feel connected may make them unhappy.
A new study suggests using the social networking site may make people unhappy. According to a University of Michigan study that is the first to examine the social networking site's influence on happiness and satisfaction, Facebook use actually predicts declines in a user's well-being,
According to John Jonides, co-author of the study, Facebook which is an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection was found to undermine well-being rather than enhancing 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.
Researchers studied 82 young adults, a core Facebook user demographic. All of them had smartphones and Facebook accounts. They used experience-sampling - one of the most reliable techniques for measuring how people think, feel, and behave moment-to-moment in their daily lives - to assess their subjective well-being by texting them at random times five times a day for two weeks. Each text message contained a link to an on-line survey with five questions.
It was found that the more people used Facebook during one time period, the worse they subsequently felt. The researchers also asked people to rate their level of life satisfaction at the start and end of the study. They found that the more participants used Facebook over the two-week study period, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Although people were more likely to use Facebook when they were lonely, loneliness and Facebook use both independently predicted how happy participants subsequently felt.
The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.
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