Is Facebook bad for your health? It’s a question that’s been asked many times down the years, and now Facebook itself has weighed in on the issue, admitting that just browsing other people’s posts “may make you feel worse” as you negatively compare your own life with those of your friends and family.
On the other hand, actively interacting with other people on social media has been “linked to improvements in well-being” by researchers. Sharing messages and posts with close friends, and reminiscing about old times, can improve your mood, reports Facebook.
“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,” say Facebook’s experts. As a result, the platform is being tweaked to encourage users to interact rather than just scrolling endlessly through the feed.
Improving social networking
Of course this isn’t just a Facebook issue – other social networks work in a similar way, and Facebook’s blog post references studies that have been carried out on internet use in general. The same passive vs interactive principles can be applied to Twitter, Instagram, and other networks.
Facebook points to the snooze option that it’s just introduced as one of the ways it’s looking to improve people’s social networking experience and make browsing the News Feed less of a drag on our mood. It lets you safely ignore posts from a particular person or a group you’re signed up to without anyone else being any the wiser.
On top of that Facebook says it’s investing money into researching how Facebook use and screen time in general could be having a negative effect on our kids. In the meantime, maybe spend less time scrolling and more time posting on your social networks.