A new study by a researcher at the University of Houston has found that long term use of Facebook is linked to depression.
According to CBS Houston (via CBS Philadelphia), the study says that when people spend too much time on Facebook comparing themselves to the good news posted by friends, they can experience symptoms of depression.
Mai-Ly Steers performed two studies of social comparison via the popular social media site. Steers doesn't claim that Facebook actually causes depression or envy, but is linked to those feelings.
Steers told the University of Houston website:
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.
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. 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.