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Increased Facebook Usage Correlates to Decreased Well-Being

A study recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that increased use of Facebook leads to decreased personal satisfaction. The study’s researchers monitored 5,208 adult users and gathered information between 2013 and 2015 about their use of Facebook, health, and social lives.

Facebook issued a response to the study by citing an earlier paper, which found that users’ happiness depends on how they use the internet. The paper also indicated that it’s hard to measure how the internet affects emotional well-being.

However, the benefit of the study is that it analyzed individuals’ health, behavior, and Facebook usage over a two-year period, giving a clear picture of how Facebook usage impacted health and happiness over time. Researchers were able to analyze whether people who were sad at the beginning of the study experienced changes in mental health due to the amount of time spent using Facebook and the ways in which users engaged with others Facebook.

In the alternative, some studies have indicated that using social media improves peoples’ quality of life. To rectify these different findings, it helps to consider why people use social media and how much satisfaction they have in their lives outside of the internet. Individuals who have replaced in-person interactions with social media usage are typically more unhappy. Ultimately, despite differing conclusions, research into Facebook usage habits implies that those with more face-to-face social interactions have better emotional and physical health, as even positive internet use does not replace the value of real world interactions.

In some instances, an individual’s experiences on Facebook and other social media websites may extend beyond regular daily behaviors such as “liking” posts and sending messages to friends. When social media is used to bully individuals and post false accusations or private photos of others, it might be necessary to get a lawyer involved. A defamation lawyer or lawyer that prosecutes breaches of privacy can help analyze a victim’s options on how to best move forward.

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