Singing the Facebook Blues?

Can spending too much time on Facebook make you depressed?   Early research studies have tentatively linked time spent on social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace with mental health symptoms though later research has yielded more mixed results.   While some studies showed evidence of increased depression, other studies have found that time on Facebook can have positive benefits as well.  Despite the lack of clear answers, “Facebook Depression” has become a common theme in media articles highlighting the dangers of being online.  

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.

To settle whether social networking can cause mental health problems, Joanne Davila and her fellow researchers at Stony Brook University have focused on the quality of online interactions rather than just measuring amount of time online.   In a 2012 study they conducted,  “Facebook depression” was largely linked to poor quality interactions that can reinforce mental health issues that already exist in some Facebook users.  

           

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