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Emotions and Social Media

Do you feel sad after visiting Facebook? Researchers at the University of Austria have found that spending time on Twitter and Facebook can make us feel more depressed then if we were just browsing non-social media sites, even if we felt fine before. The researchers gave users regular surveys about how they were feeling at different times during the day and found that many of them showed a noticeable drop in mood after spending a significant amount of time on Facebook. Conversely, participants who spent time surfing the internet but didn’t visit social media sites did not report feeling anywhere near as glum.

Researchers identified a few reasons for this, most notably that we feel as though we are wasting more time when we visit social media sites when compared to regular sites. Also, in reference to Facebook specifically, we can feel envy and lowered life satisfaction if we are comparing our lives to those on our friend lists. The researchers noted that while Facebook is an excellent tool for staying in touch with friends and acquaintances, there are disadvantages to it, as illustrated above.

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