Is Your Newsfeed Making You Depressed?

The number of college students who have a Facebook account greatly outnumber those that do not have one; and for those who do partake in the social networking giant, many visit the site once a day if not more.

As the month of September dawns, the start of a new school year does too, which involves catching up with old friends, and also meeting and connecting with new friends and acquaintances too.

While having a large social network and group of friends has many great benefits, a new study from the article Facebook Takes a Toll On Your Mental Health on cautions Facebook users that the more friends you have on Facebook, the greater risk you are at for feeling worse about yourself. This is because the more friends you have, the more opportunities there are to peer into someone else’s life, therefore, more opportunities to feel inadequate.

The study found that of those who participated, the Facebook user who had more friends (above 354 friends for this study) were more susceptible to feeling like their lives were inadequate, and were comparing themselves to their friends more often, as well as stimulating unhealthy competition. A University of Houston study also surveyed some undergraduates and discovered that the students who spent more time on Facebook displayed more depressive symptoms than the students who spent less time on Facebook. Of course, that does not mean Facebook causes depression, but of the students studied, those who spent more time on Facebook were the ones who displayed the symptoms of depression more frequently.

The bottom line of this data is to just be wary of what you are actually looking at when you scroll through your newsfeed. Be conscious that Facebook is a medium in which many use to show-off and brag, and realize that all that glitters may not be gold.

But to reduce this risk dramatically, the best thing to do is limit your viewing time on Facebook all together. Especially since classes are picking back up again, it is best to focus all that energy once devoted to Facebook to studying. Doing so will hopefully make for a happier, healthier, more satisfied you. So shut that computer screen and crack open your books, and with any luck a more content you will come out of it.