Study Links Envy, Depression In College Students To Facebook

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Constantly checking Facebook could lead to serious depression, according to Nanyang Technological University. Those who continuously check the social media website can also experience envy and extreme sadness.

Researchers surveyed a little more than 736 college students (who have increasingly been found to be prone to depression) and found that spending too much time on the site or measuring yourself up to your friends could make you feel bad about yourself. Researchers noted that the increase of depression in college students could also be attributed to more attention being paid to student well being.

“If Facebook is used to see how well an acquaintance is doing financially or how happy an old friend is in his relationship — things that cause envy among users — use of the site can lead to feelings of depression,” said Margaret Duffy, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

'Facebook envy' at the core of study's focus

The study focused on “Facebook envy”, a term coined in 2013 describing how people feel about reading the information they find on the social media platform. These feelings are often linked to false representations of other friends’ lives: a string of engagements, new jobs and vacations could be misconstrued.

The study noted that it’s not that social media platform that’s to blame, but the feelings it might trigger. Researchers argued that the study pointed to important connections between communication platforms and individual dispositions.

Researchers acquiesced that Facebook can be a fun and healthy activity is users only allow themselves to connect with friends and family instead of allowing envy or jealousy to overtake them.

Source: Denver Post / Photo Credit: Flickr

 
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