How does Facebook cause depression?

Facebook leads to depression if viewing friends’ pages makes you envy. Social media is a great way to keep in touch with your friends and family. But they also let you learn about other people’s successes – exciting vacations, great relationships, career achievements, etc. Sometimes such messages, instead of joy, cause envy and disappointing comparison with your life. In this case, the development of depressive symptoms is possible.

Viewing the Facebook feed has become a daily ritual for hundreds of millions of people. Researchers from the University of Missouri are interested in how this habit affects the emotional state. They monitored young Facebook users and found that people who track the progress of their acquaintances were more likely to have symptoms of depression. Facebook has no negative impact on people who use it simply to keep in touch with friends. Facebook gives you the opportunity to observe the lives of others and compare it with your achievements. The news of buying an apartment, getting married, or getting a promotion at work can make some people feel jealous, and as a result, depressed and anxious. Researchers advise to be aware of this risk and not use Facebook as a “ruler” to measure your own and others’ success. You need to understand that most people perceive social networks as a way of self-presentation, therefore they write only about their achievements, hiding failures. Remember this the next time you experience an unpleasant feeling of envy.

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