How Does Facebook Affect Your Mood?

2 Mar

Facebook has been around for almost a decade now—first at Harvard University and now used by over a billion people around the world—studies have been conducted on how it affects our mental and emotional states. The results? Ultimately it’s your call, but there are significant pros and cons to this social media platform.

Given the amount of time people spend on Facebook, it’s bound to have an impact. A new study shows you’re not the only one Facebook’s taking on an emotional roller coaster. The survey says the site causes the most stress but also elicits the most positive effect on mood compared to other social networks.

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Study participants were more likely to be positively influenced by social media, with 45.9% of people listing Facebook as the site with favorable effects on their mood. YouTube ranked at 17.5%, followed by LinkedIn.

The study revealed that those with more updates on their status each day actually experienced positive mood swings that a control group did not experience. Those who posted more frequently felt less lonely and more connected to friends. The reason why? Sitting behind a computer screen may seem lonely, but updating your status keeps friends on the brain when you can’t see them in person.

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It also appears that one in every three Facebook users experience feelings of jealousy and envy after spending time on the site. The study showed that substantial emotional damage was experienced by users who were looking at positive posts of friends who were “smiling and appearing happy.” In many ways, Facebook has become a place for people to flaunt their successes.

Because interactions take place on a screen, where users can’t read body language or non-verbal communication, and can feel depressed even though they’re congratulating someone on a happy vacation.

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Do you find yourself feeling any different when you don’t log onto Facebook? It’s become a part of our daily rituals, and fulfills our natural human desire to socialize. We learn from our peers and engage with whomever we please. How big of a factor does it play in your life?

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