Facebook is not just another social media anymore. Today, it has become an important part in people’s daily routine. According to Facebook statistics, there are over 1.8 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide, which means, over 24% of the world’s population uses Facebook. It is proven that people are spending nearly an hour every day scrolling through Facebook status updates, liking and commenting on posts or chatting on Messenger. Can it cause health issues?
Investigations on social media have shown that deviating from face-to-face social relationships. Hence, spending more time online can lead to sedentary behavior and internet addiction. A recent study by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has revealed that almost every form of interaction with Facebook can lead to diminished well-being.
You might be wondering, how can a social network affects the well-being of a person. Explaining further about adverse impacts of Facebook, Holly Shakya and Nicholas Christakis say that the major three Facebook behaviors liking, posting, and clicking links can lead to negative self-comparisons and make people feel worse about themselves. It is human nature to compare ourselves with others. Hence when people are exposed to the carefully crafted profiles of their friends, they start comparing themselves to others and end up in feeling worse about themselves.
“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,” Said Shakya and Christakis about their investigation.
It is also revealed that most measures of Facebook use in one year have predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. Simply, Facebook has negatively affected more on the mental health of persons with time.
Another study carried out with the participation of 5,208 adults in the US has revealed some surprising factors about how Facebook usage affects our lives. According to the study, their mental health, reported physical health, and body-mass indexes have changed over time relative to their use of Facebook.
The researchers’ conclusion was “What seems quite clear … is that online social interactions are no substitute for the real thing.”
Therefore if you also already addicted to Facebook, it’s time to get away from your PC or mobile, try to make some face-to-face relationships rather than virtual friendships, try to read a newspaper than reading the newsfeed and make sure you won’t let social networks to make you sick.