Social Media & Digital Depression: Is Facebook Making Us Depressed?

Ever since I signed up for Facebook, all my peers and friends have been striving to make more online friends. For some, the more friends they have on the social networking site is representative of how “cool” or “sociable” they are.

But does having more friends on Facebook make you happy? Surprisingly enough, no it doesn’t!

A recent study reveals that the more friends you have on Facebook, the more unhappy you will be!

According to the article, a study conducted at Edinburgh Napier University found that after polling 200 students:

“. . . the negative effects of Facebook outweigh the benefits of staying in touch with friends and family [For a significant number of users].”

The findings of this study suggest that those with most FRIENDS were also the most STRESSED.

The authors of the study note that there is a great deal of peer pressure to be on Facebook and it’s convenience is unparalleled in comparison to other social networking sites.

What kind of psychological strain is Facebook inducing? According to the article, 32% of students revealed they felt guilty for rejecting friend requests and 12% said they feel anxious about Facebook overall. Other issues enabled and facilitated by Facebook include: feeling excluded, the pressure to be entertaining, paranoia or envy of “friends.”

So what is the point here? Cut down on the amount of stress and the number of friends you have by deleting or cleaning up your Facebook? Stop accepting random Friend Requests? How do other people deal with this problem?

My Two Cents

Boy oh boy can I attest to this study! I can think of occasions when I see a friend hosting a party and invite 300 people and not me, wonder why random people from Nepal add me on a weekly basis and feel a tinge of jealousy of friends who seem to be living an ideal life.

Feel the same way? If you think you can just cut Facebook off, think again: The researchers reveal that:

“like gambling, Facebook keeps users in a neurotic limbo, not knowing whether they should hang on in there just in case they miss out on something good.”

If you’re worried about Facebook becoming a burden as opposed to a convenient networking device, consider the following: Delete your superfluous friends!

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