Facebook's impact on mental health has been a big concern for researchers. Zuckerberg has even acknowledged that its use can cause problems. However, he is attempting to shift the blame to users.
Recent studies have found that Facebook use can increase stress, anxiety, and depression. This may occur due to social comparison and communication feedback, both of which are common features on Facebook. These factors can lead to panic-induced behavior. Seeing other people's reactions to news can also have a negative effect on a user's feelings and reactions.
Research has found that college students are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders after being exposed to Facebook. The University of Michigan's Social Psychology Department investigated 82 young adults. They found that college-wide access to Facebook resulted in a significant rise in moderate to severe depression among these students.
A new study is scheduled to be published in the American Economic Review. It will compare 58 schools at different times before and after the introduction of Facebook. Researchers paired data from Facebook with responses to the National College Health Assessment. Results showed that college-wide Facebook use resulted in a significant increase in anxiety and depression, with the most susceptible groups using psychotherapy and antidepressants to treat their symptoms.
Moreover, Facebook use in teens has been linked to high levels of cortisol, a hormone that is associated with stress. Additionally, Facebook notifications affect sleep. Taking a break from Facebook may help to decrease distress.
Some research has suggested that users should limit their exposure to Facebook to a few minutes a day. Another study found that a five-day break from Facebook leads to improved life satisfaction. Taking a break can help you reduce stress and anxiety, and recharging your energy with face-to-face interaction can make a positive difference.
There are certain features on Facebook that can lead users to spend more time focusing on images, and less time on interactions. If you are worried about the effects of Facebook on your mental health, you should consider whether you are using it for the right reasons. In some cases, it can be best to leave Facebook at home. During work meetings or when you are playing, it can be helpful to turn off the Facebook notifications.
Other studies have found that social media usage can lead to lowered self-esteem in adults. Teens, especially, have been found to experience a heightened degree of downward social comparisons. Those who use Facebook for social connections may experience less depression and anxiety.