Here's An Explanation For The Connection Between Facebook And Unhappiness

April 21, 2015 12:31 PM

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Here's An Explanation For The Connection Between Facebook And Unhappiness

There's an understandable fascination with the question of what effects Facebook has on its 1.3 billion users, and the answer has turned out to be a bit complicated, with findings pointing in both negative (Facebook makes people less happy) and positive (Facebook makes people more trusting and socially connected) directions. Maria Konnikova pointed out in her extremely helpful 2013 rundown of the research that the mixed messages are probably the result of "Facebook" being such a broad topic. As the researcher Samuel Gosling told her, "What makes it complicated is that Facebook is for lots of different things -- and different people use it for different subsets of those things."

It makes intuitive sense. If one person uses Facebook only to accept party invites and the other uses it to obsessively comb through pictures of exes, you'd imagine the site having different effects on these two individuals. And tons of researchers think that what matters the most is how frequently ...

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