Study: Heavy facebook use can lead to depression

MOSCOW — Having examined existing research on links between depression and active use of social networks, experts have concluded that Facebook has a negative impact on psychological health.

Who would doubt that Facebook has made life more exciting and meaningful for a majority of its more than 1 billion members? The easy-to-use online platform helps its members promptly find information on any topic and stay updated on what’s going on in the lives of people they know. However, that last point could also be a con, researchers claim.

To determine the risk to psychological health posed by heavy social media participation, David Baker and Dr. Guillermo Perez Algorta from Lancaster University looked into a vast number of studies on the issue, from 14 countries and 35,000 participants, aged between 15 and 88.

Researchers came to the upsetting conclusion that comparing oneself with others on Facebook is more likely to lead to feelings of depression than if those social comparisons happen in the real world. According to a review of existing research, Facebook’s check-in culture factors into our habit of comparing our lives with others, leading to “rumination” or overthinking.

But researchers point out that a lot depends on the frequency, quality and type of online social networking, as well as important factors, such as gender and personality type.

According to the study, women, along with those who experience neuroses, have increased chances of becoming depressed. On the other hand, those who do not accept former romantic partners as Facebook friends, and who make less negative social comparisons or negative status updates, are less prone to depression. PNA/