Using Facebook undermines well-being

The Facebook phenomenon continues with more studies and some idiot “research”. But the phenomenon is real. Narcissism is on the rise, circles of acquaintances are apparently getting very wide, perceptions of having many friends way beyond the Dunbar Number is increasing, anonymous bullying has found a new medium to exploit and we know more useless things about more people than ever before. We believe we are “in communication” with many people but that may just be an illusion.

Another “study” addresses “whether Facebook use influences subjective well-being over time is unknown. We addressed this issue using experience-sampling, the most reliable method for measuring in-vivo behavior and psychological experience. We text-messaged people five times per day for two-weeks to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives”.

Kross E, Verduyn P, Demiralp E, Park J, Lee DS, et al. (2013) Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults. PLoS ONE 8(8): e69841. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069841

AbstractOver 500 million people interact daily with Facebook. Yet, whether Facebook use influences subjective well-being over time is unknown. We addressed this issue using experience-sampling, the most reliable method for measuring in-vivo behavior and psychological experience. We text-messaged people five times per day for two-weeks to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives. Our results indicate that Facebook use predicts negative shifts on both of these variables over time. The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time we text-messaged them; the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Interacting with other people “directly” did not predict these negative outcomes. They were also not moderated by the size of people’s Facebook networks, their perceived supportiveness, motivation for using Facebook, gender, loneliness, self-esteem, or depression. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.

Facebook well being doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069841.g001

Facebook well being doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069841.g001

Figure 1. Facebook use predicts declines in affect and life satisfaction over time.

Interacting with Facebook during one time period (Time1–2) leads people to feel worse later on during the same day (T2) controlling for how they felt initially (T1);  Average Facebook use over the course of the 14-day experience-sampling period predicts decreases in life satisfaction over time.

The more participants used Facebook, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time, B = −.012, β = −.124, t(73) = −2.39, p = .02, …

The human need for social connection is well established, as are the benefits that people derive from such connections. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling such needs by allowing people to instantly connect. Rather than enhancing well-being, as frequent interactions with supportive “offline” social networks powerfully do, the current findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may predict the opposite result for young adults—it may undermine it.

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2 Responses to “Using Facebook undermines well-being”

  1. Mike Says:

    Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Another reason to keep your friends and get rid of Facebook.

  2. thebestdressup Says:

    ciao! great post.
    thebestdressup

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