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Study finds that people overusing Facebook may have a higher risk of depression

The growth that social platforms have seen over the past few decades is nothing less than a revolution. Through these platforms a large percentage of the world population have been able to connect, communicate and share with each other easily. While these platforms sure make lives easier, they also have a few disadvantages, the most primary one of which is the addictiveness of these platforms. Social media companies nowadays use Psychological tricks and dark pattern techniques to alter their interface into being more addictive so that users spend long hours on them thus increasing their revenue. Psychological techniques like FOMO and curiosity to keep users engaged. While using these psychological tricks sure makes social media companies, they are mostly bad for the users. Users unknowingly spend most of their time on these platforms, this causes them a lot of problems such as eye strain and muscle pain from constantly bending down and looking into their phone, apart from physical problems, overusing social media can also have negative effects on your mental health as well.

Recently a team of researchers based in Singapore published a study on the usage of the social giant Facebook, the study focused on the use of the social network and its links with mental health problems. The researchers found out that the more time users spends on Facebook, the more likely they are to suffer from depression.

The study started way back in 2016 and went on for three long years. The research was conducted on almost 1240 participants who were adults between 18 to 64. While the study collected responses from 1240 participants, only 355 responses were used in the final report. While the study was completed a long time ago, it was just recently published by professors from the NTU.

Apart from Facebook’s link with depression the study also found out that excessive Facebook usage can actually increase depression in people that already suffer from it. A large reason behind this is the outburst of negative emotions such as jealousy and envy during Facebook use, which collects up and leads to mental health problems like depression.

Professor Tandoc, who actively worked in this study gave out statement to explain the findings. In his statement he linked the emotions that users experience while using Facebook to the ones that humans have been experiencing since ancient times. He said that as humans our psychology always tells and wants us to be at the top of social hierarchy, thus resulting making users engage in a social comparison that makes them feel less worthy and starts building up depression in them.

Researchers while conducting this study noticed that younger and more educated people had a higher risk of getting depressed by overusing Facebook, thus proving that age and education also had an effect.

Participants during the study were using Facebook for as long as two and half hours a day, this built up an addiction in them and they were addicted to the platform even after the study was finished.


Read next: Study Reveals Consumer Trust Levels for Social Media Influencers

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