Facebook just admitted that using Facebook can be bad for you

Facebook conducted the study with Carnegie Mellon University

In it, the social networking firm cites academic research indicating that in certain instances using Facebook can have a negative effect on people's moods, and that heavier users of the site can have worse mental health.

Facebook has acknowledged that too much social media can be damaging to people's mental health.

Facebook has once again faced sharp criticism over the potential negative effects social media can have on someone's life, but this time it is back with more than a simple statement. Every time users posted their thoughts on the social network, he or she felt rewarded when one of their friends commented or liked a post.

"Social media platforms in particular have been used and abused in ways that we, their architects, never imagined", he wrote.

With almost 2 billion users, Facebook's survival depends on people continuing to use its service.

Facebook's Director of Research David Ginsberg and research scientist Moira Burke cite a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology that found University of MI students randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10 minutes were in a worse mood at the end of the day than students assigned to post or talk to friends on the platform.

Facebook said, "In sum, our research and other academic literature suggests that it's about how you use social media that matters when it comes to your well-being". The less you see someone or something annoying or get reminded of an ex, the more you keep browsing through your News Feed - still by far the most important part of Facebook's business when it comes to making money.


After years of our suspicions, warnings from psychologists, words of caution about social media from Princes William and Harry and a former Facebook executive saying social media is "ripping apart" society, Facebook published a blog post on (you guessed it) Facebook acknowledging it is bad for your mental health.

The company acknowledged that people are anxious about the short- and long-term effects of Facebook use on young people.

In one study, people who passively read about others' lives reported feeling worse about themselves.

Facebook points toward a University of MI study that found people experienced a worse mood if they read Facebook for ten minutes a day versus others who actively talked with friends or posted on the social network.

On the other hand, the two Facebook employees wrote, "A study we conducted with Robert Kraut at Carnegie Mellon University found that people who sent or received more messages, comments and Timeline posts reported improvements in social support, depression and loneliness". At the same time, actively communicating with friends "is linked to improvements in well-being", the company said. Another theory is that the internet takes people away from social engagement in person. These include changes to the news feed to demote what Facebook considers "low-quality content", letting users "snooze" their friends so they don't appear in their News Feed, tools to help manage the content they see from ex-partners, and suicide prevention tools. Others point out the potential benefits of social media, such as providing a platform in which people can find each other, promote causes, and more.

Other research also shows that users who interact with people by sharing messages, posts or comments improved their well-being, the company said.

"We want Facebook to be a place for meaningful interactions with your friends and family - enhancing your relationships offline, not detracting from them", Ginsberg and Burke wrote.

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