Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Facebook use predicts declines in happiness, new study finds

Date:
August 14, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Facebook helps people feel connected, but it doesn't necessarily make them happier, a new study shows.

Facebook helps people feel connected, but it doesn't necessarily make them happier, a new study shows. Facebook use actually predicts declines in a user's well-being, according to a University of Michigan study that is the first known published research examining Facebook influence on happiness and satisfaction.

Related Articles


The study about the use of Facebook, a free networking website, appears online in PLOS ONE.

"On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection," said U-M social psychologist Ethan Kross, lead author of the article and a faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research. "But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result -- it undermines it."

"This is a result of critical importance because it goes to the very heart of the influence that social networks may have on people's lives," said U-M cognitive neuroscientist John Jonides, another author of the paper.

For the study, the researchers recruited 82 young adults, a core Facebook user demographic. All of them had smart phones and Facebook accounts. They used experience-sampling -- one of the most reliable techniques for measuring how people think, feel, and behave moment-to-moment in their daily lives -- to assess their subjective well-being by texting them at random times five times a day for two weeks.

Each text message contained a link to an online survey with five questions:

  • How do you feel right now?
  • How worried are you right now?
  • How lonely do you feel right now?
  • How much have you used Facebook since the last time we asked?
  • How much have you interacted with other people "directly" since the last time we asked?

The study found that the more people used Facebook during one time period, the worse they subsequently felt. The authors also asked people to rate their level of life satisfaction at the start and end of the study. They found that the more participants used Facebook over the two-week study period, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time.

Importantly, the researchers found no evidence that interacting directly with other people via phone or face-to-face negatively influenced well-being. Instead, they found that direct interactions with other people led people to feel better over time.

They also found no evidence for two alternative possible explanations for the finding that Facebook undermines happiness. People were not more likely to use Facebook when they felt bad. In addition, although people were more likely to use Facebook when they were lonely, loneliness and Facebook use both independently predicted how happy participants subsequently felt.

"Thus, it was not the case that Facebook use served as a proxy for feeling bad or lonely," Kross said.

"This is the advantage of studying Facebook use and well-being as dynamic processes that unfold over time," said emotion researcher Philippe Verduyn, another co-author of the article and post-doctoral fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders (Belgium). "It allows us to draw inferences about the likely causal sequence of Facebook use and well-being."

The researchers hope to conduct additional research with participants from a variety of age groups to examine the generalizability of these results and the psychological mechanisms that underlie them.

Co-authors of the study are Philippe Verduyn of the University of Leuven in Belgium and U-M researchers Emre Demiralp, Jiyoung Park, David Seungjae Lee, Natalie Lin, Holly Shablack, John Jonides and Oscar Ybarra.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ethan Kross, Philippe Verduyn, Emre Demiralp, Jiyoung Park, David Seungjae Lee, Natalie Lin, Holly Shablack, John Jonides, Oscar Ybarra. Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (8): e69841 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069841

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Facebook use predicts declines in happiness, new study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814191910.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2013, August 14). Facebook use predicts declines in happiness, new study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814191910.htm
University of Michigan. "Facebook use predicts declines in happiness, new study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814191910.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A Symantec white paper reveals details about Regin, a spying malware of unusual complexity which is believed to be state-sponsored. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hackers Target Business Travellers

Hackers Target Business Travellers

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A newly detected malware, dubbed Darkhotel, infects hotel networks with spying software to steal sensitive data from the computers of high profile business executives, warns a leading computer security firm. Ciara Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins