Passive use of social media can make people feel worse, says Facebook

Passive use of social media can make people feel worse, says Facebook

Various studies have pointed at the fact that social media can have a negative impact on one’s mental health, but the owners of popular networking sites have often avoided commenting on the issue. However, it seems researches conducted in this field have managed to influence some social media entrepreneurs, with Facebook recently admitting that social media can be bad for one’s mental well-being. In the company’s latest blog post, Facebook Director of Research David Ginsberg and Research Scientist. Along with social psychologist Moira Burke, acknowledged that social media can leave people “feeling worse.” While they argued how one used social media had a big impact on one’s overall well-being, they agreed that passively scrolling the news feed may make one feel bad.

Social media plays an important role in people’s lives, from letting people stay connected to the world, sharing happy moments and achievements to meeting new people and developing meaningful relationships. It serves as one of the most convenient communication platform today. Though the positive impact of social media is quite evident, its prolonged and excessive use can pose a danger to one’s mental and emotional health – young people can become more susceptible to developing poor self-esteem, body image issues, anxiety and depression symptoms, inferiority complex and addiction to social media.

Meaningful interactions can make people feel better

However, according to Facebook, engaging in social media content related to sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends, and remembering past interactions can make people feel better. Staying connected with loved ones fosters a sense of community, strengthens bonds and brings happiness. However, reading about the happy events in other people’s lives can make one feel bad. According to Ginsberg, “In general when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information – reading but not interacting with people – they report feeling worse afterwards.” He added that while the social networking site recognized the ill effects, it is working on new developments to encourage engagement among people and allow them to personalize their posts and block those that may have a negative impact.

In the blog, the Facebook administrators acknowledged that it has always been a place to share meaningful interactions with one’s friends and family members and to enhance relationships offline and not detract from them. In order to make the site more meaningful for users and turn it into a place that contributes in a positive way, the administrators are finding out ways to make the platform more about meaningful interactions and less about whiling away time.

Get help now

Social media is a boon for all, but its prolonged and unmonitored use can have disastrous consequences on one’s mental health. Children and young teens are more vulnerable because of early exposure. It is the responsibility of parents, teachers and guardians to warn them about its ill effects and encourage them to use it wisely. If you know someone addicted to social media which is affecting his/her mental health negatively, encourage them to get professional support as soon as possible.

The 247 Mental Health Helpline representatives can help you find the right line of treatment for any kind of mental disorder. They can answer your questions about various mental health conditions, help you recognize the symptoms and connect you to the best rehabilitation centers as per your needs. For those in crisis, reach out to us at our 24/7 mental health helpline (855) 653-8178 and get information on some of the reputed rehab centers in the U.S. offering holistic treatment. You can also chat online with our representatives for further assistance.