Facebook Admits Social Media Can Harm Your Mental Health

Alicia Cross
December 19, 2017

The Facebook researchers are using these and other findings to try to improve the social media experience of Facebook users. So it was surprising to see a blog post pop up on Friday with the title "Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?"

He wrote: "In general when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information - reading but not interacting with people - they report feeling worse afterwards". A study from UC San Diego and Yale found that people who clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than average in a survey.

In the new post on the potential downside of social media, the authors, who are researchers at Facebook, begin by correctly saying that people are anxious about the effect social media has on relationships and mental health. There is no shortage of people who say that substantial time spent on Facebook simply makes them feel very bad. It refers to a study by University of MI, which randomly assigned students to browse through their Facebook posts for 10 minutes and found that those who were not allowed to comment, post or chat with anyone were more irritated than students who were allowed to do so, at the end of the day.

Why it is so is not clear, but researchers believe that reading about others online might lead to negative social comparison - and perhaps even more so than offline, since people's posts are often more curated and flattering.

"Millions of people break up on Facebook each week, changing their relationship status from "in a relationship" to "single", said Facebook.

Facebook has acknowledged that it can have a negative impact on mental health.

Call it admonition from parents and behavioural experts or self-introspection but Facebook has for the first time admitted that passively scrolling through posts on the social media platform can make people feel worse - while active engagement on the platform may have the opposite effect.

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And just a few days ago, an ex-Facebook executive blasted the company saying it was "destroying how society works". Having one-on-one interactions with people online seems to be key.

Tech giant Facebook while making a remarkable admission has said that excessive social media use can damage people's mental health.

Palihapitiya on Thursday revised his view, writing in a Facebook post that the service "is a force for good in the world". The company said that the problem with social media ultimately came down to "how" these tools are used.

"We employ social psychologists, social scientists and sociologists, and we collaborate with top scholars to better understand well-being and work to make Facebook a place that contributes in a positive way", said the blog post, written by Facebook Research Director David Ginsberg and Research Scientist Moira Burke.

While this is a start, the social media site states it's "always working to expand these communities and find new ways to have a positive impact on people's lives".

Facebook said in a recent essay that the way someone uses its social platform may have a big effect on how it influences their life. A Facebook representative declined to comment beyond the blog post.

However, descriptions of the research experiments that have been conducted that reveal negative outcomes, are summed up in a section titled, "The bad" and referenced throughout the post.

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