People who check their Facebook profile more often are likely to be sad and unhealthy as compared to those who use the popular social networking site sporadically, a new study warns. Researchers, including those from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the US, used data from 5,208 people about their Facebook use between 2013 and 2015. The team investigated the associations of Facebook activity and real-world social network activity with self- reported physical health, mental health, life satisfaction, and body mass index (BMI).
After analysing the data the researchers found that increased use of Facebook was “tightly linked to compromised social, physical, and psychological health.” “People who access the social network more often are not as happy and healthy as the rest of us who choose to use it sporadically,” said Holly Shakya, assistant professor at UCSD. Researchers, including Nicholas Christakis from Yale University in the US, found that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being.
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Even one per cent increase in “likes clicked”, “links clicked,” or “status updates” was associated with a decrease of five to eight per cent of self-reported mental health, researchers said. The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.