Depression is Comparing Real Life to Life on Facebook

Researchers report that comparing your life to your friends' lives, paired with a lot of time spent on Facebook, leads you to feel depressed.

Facebook doesn't make you depressed (unless the company happens to be conducting another psychological experiment). Researchers report that it's comparing your life to your friends' lives that's making you upset. Mai-Ly Steers, a social psychologist at the University of Houston, thinks social comparison paired with a lot of time spent on Facebook leads users to feel depressed.


Steers explained in a press release that this study has basis in past real-life studies: 

"Although social-comparison processes have been examined at length in traditional contexts, the literature is only beginning to explore social comparisons in online social networking settings.”

Steers' study, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, shows that there's a correlation to using Facebook and depressive symptoms. However, that "doesn't mean Facebook causes depression, but that depressed feelings and lots of time on Facebook and comparing oneself to others tend to go hand in hand.”

To be fair, it's difficult to not compare ourselves to our friends on Facebook, or in real life for that matter. So, when our friends only tend to post “highlight reels” from their lives — just the good stuff, like vacation or wedding photos — it only makes our lives seem all the more mundane. But this comparison tends to occur after spending more time on the social network — after seeing friend upon friend posting travel photos.

Steers concluded:

"This research and previous research indicates the act of socially comparing oneself to others is related to long-term destructive emotions. Any benefit gained from making social comparisons is temporary and engaging in frequent social comparison of any kind may be linked to lower well-being.”

Read more at Science Daily.

Photo credit: Loren Kerns / Flickr

22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Keep reading Show less

Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

Keep reading Show less

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

content.jwplatform.com
Videos
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Keep reading Show less