Study Finds that Facebook is Bad for Your Mental and Physical Health

A university study has discovered that regular use of Facebook may be detrimental to your health.

Researchers from UC San Diego and Yale cooperated on a project to monitor Facebook usage of 5,208 adult over a two-year period.

But the study’s results should be concerning to Facebook users as well as users of all social media, according to Business Insider.

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The study found that spending time on Facebook promotes “negative self-comparison” and does not actually equal intimacy between people.

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Researchers kept tabs on the Facebook user’s “emotional and physical well-being, as well as their body-mass index.”

Researchers say they found that the more time their subjects spent on Facebook, the worse they felt about themselves.

“Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being,” the researchers said in their study. “These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year.”

“These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year,” researchers added. “We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.”

The researchers insisted that the “social” part of social media is a misnomer. Facebook, Twitter and other so-called social media networks don’t really act like real interaction — real social actions — between people.

It is a false impression user get that they are interacting with other people, the researchers say.

“While screen time in general can be problematic, the tricky thing about social media is that while we are using it, we get the impression that we are engaging in meaningful social interaction,” researchers said. “Our results suggest that the nature and quality of this sort of connection is no substitute for the real world interaction we need for a healthy life.”

Their recommendation is to stay off social media.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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