Study shows that ‘surveillance Facebooking’ can cause depression in people who compare themselves to other Facebook users
A study by University of Missouri shows that using Facebook causes envy and depression may soon follow. There have been many studies on the influences of Facebook on human minds but this one goes a step further and reveals that comparing ourselves to other Facebook users often leads to depression.
University of Missouri-Columbia study whose results are published here, states that Facebook can make us sadder, but only if you’re using it to lurk from afar. Lurking from afar means using Facebook to check on how your old acquaintance/friend/ex-girl friend/boy friend is doing, which actually engaging with them through ‘likes’ comments or sharing their posts.
The study by the two researchers Margaret Duffy and Edson Tandoc, has taken care to distinguish between the good kind and the bad kind of Facebook usage.
The researchers have found that users who use generally use Facebook to stay in touch with their near and dear ones, friends and acquaintances and post/share important events of their lives on their timelines do not suffer from symptoms of depression associated with use of the social networking site.
Regarding the bad side of Facebook usage, the researchers state that many users use Facebook for snooping/spying on their friends, old friends turned foes, ex-girl friends/boy friends and live king of “surveillance” life on Facebook. The study says that these kind of users always compare the lives of their friends to their own and often end up having feelings of envy.
Those great photos from your high school girlfriend’s wedding reception? These kind of images make the “surveillance Facebookers” envious and envy is the start point for depression.
A similar kind of study by University of Michigan in 2013 linked Facebook use with decline in overall happiness, however an article on The Verge said that the study did not have a strict definition of Facebook use. That is where this study differs and possible offers a plausible explanation for Facebook users suffering from depression.
As Tandoc puts it, “Users should be self-aware that positive self-presentation is an important motivation in using social media, so it is to be expected that many users would only post positive things about themselves. This self-awareness, hopefully, can lessen feelings of envy.”
Taking the study into account, it would be preferable to use Facebook to highlight the good things that happen in your life and sharing the same with your friends and near and dear ones instead of “surveillance Facebooking”