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  1. #1
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    Exclamation [EN] Association of Facebook Use With Compromised Well-Being

    Holly B. Shakya, Nicholas A. Christakis
    American Journal of Epidemiology (2017) 185 (3): 203-211.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kww189

    Abstract

    Face-to-face social interactions enhance well-being. With the ubiquity of social media, important questions have arisen about the impact of online social interactions. In the present study, we assessed the associations of both online and offline social networks with several subjective measures of well-being. We used 3 waves (2013, 2014, and 2015) of data from 5,208 subjects in the nationally representative Gallup Panel Social Network Study survey, including social network measures, in combination with objective measures of Facebook use. We investigated the associations of Facebook activity and real-world social network activity with self-reported physical health, self-reported mental health, self-reported life satisfaction, and body mass index. Our results showed that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being. For example, a 1-standard-deviation increase in “likes clicked” (clicking “like” on someone else's content), “links clicked” (clicking a link to another site or article), or “status updates” (updating one's own Facebook status) was associated with a decrease of 5%–8% of a standard deviation in self-reported mental health. These associations were robust to multivariate cross-sectional analyses, as well as to 2-wave prospective analyses. The negative associations of Facebook use were comparable to or greater in magnitude than the positive impact of offline interactions, which suggests a possible tradeoff between offline and online relationships.


    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

    https://academic.oup.com/aje/article...dFrom=fulltext

  2. #2
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    A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel

    Holly B. ShakyaNicholas A. Christakis
    April 10, 2017

    The average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day, according to data provided by the company last year. A Deloitte survey found that for many smartphone users, checking social media apps are the first thing they do in the morning – often before even getting out of bed. Of course, social interaction is a healthy and necessary part of human existence. Thousands of studies have concluded that most human beings thrive when they have strong, positive relationships with other human beings.

    The challenge is that most of the work on social interaction has been conducted using “real world,” face-to-face social networks, in contrast to the types of online relationships that are increasingly common. So, while we know that old-fashioned social interaction is healthy, what about social interaction that is completely mediated through an electronic screen? When you wake up in the morning and tap on that little blue icon, what impact does it have on you?

    Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen time, lead to internet addiction, and erode self-esteem through unfavorable social comparison. Self-comparison can be a strong influence on human behavior, and because people tend to display the most positive aspects of their lives on social media, it is possible for an individual to believe that their own life compares negatively to what they see presented by others. But some skeptics have wondered if perhaps people with lower well-being are more likely to use social media, rather than social media causing lower well-being. Moreover, other studies have found that social media use has a positive impact on well-being through increased social support and reinforcement of real world relationships.

    We wanted to get a clearer picture of the relationship between social media use and well-being. In our study, we used three waves of data from 5,208 adults from a national longitudinal panel maintained by the Gallup organization, coupled with several different measures of Facebook usage, to see how well-being changed over time in association with Facebook use. Our measures of well-being included life satisfaction, self-reported mental health, self-reported physical health, and body-mass index (BMI). Our measures of Facebook use included liking others’ posts, creating one’s own posts, and clicking on links. We also had measures of respondents’ real-world social networks. In each wave, respondents were asked to name up to four friends with whom they discuss important matters and up to four friends with whom they spend their free time, so that each participant could name up to a total of eight unique individuals.

    Our approach had three strengths that set it apart from most of the previous work on the topic. First, we had three waves of data for many of our respondents over a period of two years. This allowed us to track how changes in social media use were associated with changes in well-being. Most studies done to date only use one period of data, limiting interpretations of conclusions to simple associations. Second, we had objective measures of Facebook use, pulled directly from participants’ Facebook accounts, rather than measures based on a person’s self-report. Third, in addition to the Facebook data, we had information regarding the respondents’ real-world social networks, which would allow us to directly compare the two influences (face-to-face networks and online interactions). Of course, our study has limitations too, including that we could not be certain about how fully representative it was because not everyone in the Gallup sample allowed us access to their Facebook data.

    Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being. These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.

    Our models included measures of real-world networks and adjusted for baseline Facebook use. When we accounted for a person’s level of initial well-being, initial real-world networks, and initial level of Facebook use, increased use of Facebook was still associated with a likelihood of diminished future well-being. This provides some evidence that the association between Facebook use and compromised well-being is a dynamic process.

    Although we can show that Facebook use seems to lead to diminished well-being, we cannot definitively say how that occurs. We did not see much difference between the three types of activity we measured — liking, posting, and clicking links, (although liking and clicking were more consistently significant) — and the impact on the user. This was interesting, because while we expected that “liking” other people’s content would be more likely to lead to negative self-comparisons and thus decreases in well-being, updating one’s own status and clicking links seemed to have a similar effect (although the nature of status updates can ostensibly be the result of social comparison-tailoring your own Facebook image based on how others will perceive it). Overall our results suggests that well-being declines are also matter of quantity of use rather than only quality of use. If this is the case, our results contrast with previous research arguing that the quantity of social media interaction is irrelevant, and that only the quality of those interactions matter.

    These results then may be relevant for other forms of social media. While many platforms expose the user to the sort of polished profiles of others that can lead to negative self-comparison, the issue of quantity of usage will be an issue for any social media platform. While screen time in general can be problematic, the tricky thing about social media is that while we are using it, we get the impression that we are engaging in meaningful social interaction. Our results suggest that the nature and quality of this sort of connection is no substitute for the real world interaction we need for a healthy life.

    The full story when it comes to online social media use is surely complex. Exposure to the carefully curated images from others’ lives leads to negative self-comparison, and the sheer quantity of social media interaction may detract from more meaningful real-life experiences. What seems quite clear, however, is that online social interactions are no substitute for the real thing.

    https://hbr.org/2017/04/a-new-more-r...worse-you-feel

  3. #3
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    National Study Finds Use of Facebook Linked to Depression

    Nicole Feyh
    04/19/2017

    Facebook is the most popular social media platform with nearly 68 percent of US adults on the site, according to the Pew Research Center. Some experts link the time spend online may link to symptoms of depression.

    “I know that it’s a problem for my younger sisters that are in high school,” said Tessa Perez, a biology major at the University of Kansas. “I can say that it definitely leads to depression for one of them. It’s just some of the things people are willing to say on social media sites, so I can see how it would have an effect on mental state in some people.”

    Nearly 76 percent of Americans use the site on a daily basis, according to the Pew Research Center. A number of studies link social media usage to a decreased mental state, but all are on a correlative basis. That correlation does not equal causation, according to University psychology director Dr. Alex Williams.

    “The difficulty is that because there’s a correlation between the two doesn’t meant that the Facebook use is causing the depressive symptoms,” Williams said. “It could be that using Facebook causes people to be more depressed; it could be that more depressed people turn to Facebook; or there could be some third variable we don’t know about.”

    The national study “Association of Facebook Use with Compromised Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study” seems to have come closer to cause of depression than others before it. The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in February and finds Facebook usage is associated with a decrease in mental health, physical health and even life satisfaction.

    There’s been a lack of consensus on the impact of online social network use and well-being because of the complexity of these associations, but also because of the difficulties inherent in measuring social media use and assessing impact using observational studies, according to the study.

    The study then claims it overcame some weaknesses by using measuring Facebook use and three waves of data, each wave representing a different year from 2013 to 2015 and accounting for information across all demographics.

    The study says liking others’ posts and clicking links are consistently related to well-being and the number of status updates are related to reports of diminished mental health. Having a greater number of Facebook friends shows a positive correlation of well-being, but doesn’t retain any significance in areas where decreased mental health, physical health and life satisfaction did retain significance.

    Still, psychologists like Williams express the need for an experimental study instead of observation to diagnose causation.

    “We need a controlled group of people not using Facebook and then a randomly assigned group of people,” Williams said. “And then we need to compare outcomes between the two.”

    Williams says it’s possible the link may never be deemed fully causal, simply because of how difficult it is to measure well-being with the differences of each individual.

    The study concluded that its results are consistent across three distinct outcomes, which suggested that “overall, Facebook use does not promote well-being,” and users would do well to “focus instead on real-world relationships.”

    http://tv.ku.edu/2017/04/study-finds...in-well-being/

  4. #4
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