Depression caused due to comparison of one’s life on Facebook
A new study conducted at the University of Houston revealed that users who spent maximum time viewing Facebook and comparing one’s life with the events and achievements of their friends have higher chances of getting into depression.
Researcher Mai-Ly Steers presented her research on the topic in the article, “Seeing Everyone Else’s Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage is Linked to Depressive Symptoms,” published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
To research how social comparison to peers on Facebook impact one’s psychological health, Steers conducted two studies for the same. The result of these studies revealed that users went into depression when they compared their lives with others.
Steers conducted two studies to investigate how social comparison to peers on Facebook might impact users’ psychological health, and both studies provide evidence that Facebook users felt depressed when comparing themselves to others.
“It doesn’t mean Facebook causes depression, but that depressed feelings and lots of time on Facebook and comparing oneself to others tend to go hand in hand,” Steers told the University of Houston’s website. “Most of your friends on Facebook are probably at least slightly more popular and more extroverted than you are, which means their curated, prettified Facebookified lives may appear richer, and more colorful than your own highlight reel,” noted Entrepreneur, before citing that it doesn’t make anyone abnormal.
Daniel C. Feiler, a behavioral scientist and author has suggested that we need to think carefully when our social network is a one sided example and how it would have an effect on our social beliefs, as social media like Facebook may enhance the extraversion bias. Feiler’s own Facebook-related study has been published in Psychological Science, which is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology.
“One danger is that Facebook often gives us information about our friends that we are not normally privy to, which gives us even more opportunities to socially compare,” Steers further elaborated to the University of Houston school website.“You can’t really control the impulse to compare because you never know what your friends are going to post. In addition, most of our Facebook friends tend to post about the good things that occur in their lives, while leaving out the bad. If we’re comparing ourselves to our friends’ ‘highlight reels,’ this may lead us to think their lives are better than they actually are and conversely, make us feel worse about our own lives,” she concluded.