CURIO #1341 | THE FACEBOOK BLUES
A curious fact from Justin Kitch, Curious.com CEO
It's hard to "Like" this. Facebook, the internet juggernaut that went public only five years ago this week, is on pace to surpass 2 billion active monthly users this year. That's more than double YouTube, and almost 10 times that of Snapchat. With the average Facebook user spending over five hours per week on the service, researchers are starting to wonder: at what cost? A recent study conducted by academics at Yale and UCSD has found a correlation between usage of Facebook and "subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction." Yikes!
The new study is unique from other Facebook mental health studies in that its dataset covers over two years of usage and includes data directly from users' profiles. The study also accounted for each participant's initial well being and then tried to measure the change based on Facebook usage. This makes the results more likely to be causal than correlated. Another recent study presented at a recent British Psychology Society conference found that getting Facebook Likes doesn't help users. In fact, it hurts: "Participants who said they went out of their way to get more likes were more likely to have low self-esteem and be less trusting." The results also showed that receiving likes didn't make people feel any better about themselves. The authors speculate that exposure to the carefully curated images from others' lives leads to negative self-comparison. Plus, spending such huge amounts of time on social media likely detracts from more meaningful real-life experiences. Man, I've got to get off of Facebook… right after I check my news feed one more time.
More about this Curio:
Harvard Business Review: "A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel"
American Journal of Epidemiology: "Association of Facebook Use With Compromised Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study"
EurekAlert: "Facebook likes don't make you feel better"