While Facebook can be a valuable resource that supports the human need for connection, a new study from University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross suggests Facebook could have the opposite effect for young adults.
The study suggets that over time, Facebook negatively effects young adults’ sense of well-being in terms of moment-to-moment happiness and how satisfied they are with their lives overall.
From The New Yorker blog:
Over two weeks, Kross and his colleagues sent text messages to eighty-two Ann Arbor residents five times per day. The researchers wanted to know a few things: how their subjects felt overall, how worried and lonely they were, how much they had used Facebook, and how often they had had direct interaction with others since the previous text message. Kross found that the more people used Facebook in the time between the two texts, the less happy they felt—and the more their overall satisfaction declined from the beginning of the study until its end. The data, he argues, shows that Facebook was making them unhappy.
To learn more about the study, click here. Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, puts the study in context with ongoing research on what drives our Facebook use and the web’s effect on our behavior.