Facebook researchers admit using Facebook passively can be bad for one’s mental health

Image capture of video by Saidat Miloud
  • Facebook researchers acknowledge the negative effects of using the social media platform on one’s mental well-being
  • The researchers said there are also benefits that can be derived from using Facebook
  • It’s about how you use social media that matters when it comes to your well-being

In a post dated December 15, 2017, researchers from Facebook addressed the questions about the impact of Facebook on social media users’ moods.

They acknowledged the negative effect of using the social media platform, but also claimed there are benefits that can be derived from using Facebook.

As per The Guardian, Facebook’s Director of Research David Ginsberg and research scientist Moira Burke said that the company’s research team found out that people spending a lot of time “passively consuming information” can leave them “feeling worse” afterwards.

Ginsberg and Burke cited two experiments that confirmed the negative effect of passive use of Facebook:

“In one experiment, University of Michigan students randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10 minutes were in a worse mood at the end of the day than students assigned to post or talk to friends on Facebook.”

“A study from UC San Diego and Yale found that people who clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than average in a survey.”

This means that just reading Facebook posts without interacting with other people on the social media platform can have negative effect on one’s moods.

On the other hand, actively interacting with other users of the platform, especially sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions, is linked to improvements in well-being.

“In sum, our research and other academic literature suggests that it’s about how you use social media that matters when it comes to your well-being,” Ginsberg and Burke said in their post.