How Do You Combat the Negative Effects of Facebook?

Over the last few years, a growing body of research indicates that being on Facebook can make us more unhappy. At first, this might seem counter-intuitive. How many of us have reveled in the sense of connectedness we feel on Facebook? I think it’s fun to get on Facebook and see what my cousins are up to. In a world where many of us move away from family and friends, Facebook seems like the perfect way to stay in touch with those we love, no matter how far apart we are geographically.

However, it appears that too much time spent on Facebook can actually make use unhappy. If you have been spending a lot of time on Facebook, consider your life and your situation. Do you find that you are struggling with increased feelings of unhappiness as a result of Facebook? Chances are that you aren’t alone.

Facebook Effect

Why Facebook Can Be So Depressing

One of the big reasons that Facebook can increase feelings of unhappiness and depression has to do with the fact that we, as humans, often compare ourselves with others. As you spend more time on Facebook looking at others’ status updates and photos, you start to compare your life with someone else’s. It looks like everyone else is accomplishing great things, and living great lives, and it’s easy to feel that your life is stuck in a rut.

However, it’s important to remember that this likely isn’t the case. Often, people put the highlights of their lives on Facebook. They put the best of what’s happening out there for others to see, and rarely do you see the downsides. As a result, you are comparing the worst parts of your life — or even the most ordinary parts of your life — with the best parts of someone else’s life. We lose sight of the simple pleasures that we enjoy, and we sometimes even forget that we have our own version of the good life¬†because we are too busy comparing it to an idealized version of someone else’s life.

Another downside to Facebook is the fact that it can be addictive. Checking for “likes” on your posts, or checking others’ posts, can be habit forming. Research indicates that the Internet is changing the wiring in our brains, and checking Facebook can be an addiction much like other addictions. However, when you check Facebook, after you see how much time you’ve spent, there is a good chance that you feel bad because you don’t feel that the time was spent usefully or productively. That also means that you feel bad on top of feeling bad because of what you just saw on Facebook.

So, how do you combat this? One way is to spend less time on Facebook. Look for other ways to fill your time. Limit your time on Facebook to checking in with friends and family — and stop the random surfing. You can also combat some of the problems by creating your own content to share. When you share things that you think are important and worthwhile, you can feel better about your time on Facebook.

What do you do to combat any negativity you might feel while on Facebook?

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.