It’s not quite like tobacco companies warning about the dangers of smoking, but Facebook is acknowledging something many already know: Using social media can be bad for your health.
The social media giant whose platform has become a daily addiction for hundreds of millions of people sheds light in a blog post Friday on what it says are two sides of the issue.
It notes research showing an increase in teen depression with technology use. It also points to its own research that shows improvements in well-being from interacting with close friends online.
Facebook, of course, thrives when people engage with its platform.
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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 Michigan 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.
It also cited research that Facebook researcher Burke conducted with a Carnegie Mellon professor that it says shows sending or receiving direct messages or posts and comments on one’s timeline boost psychological well-being.
“Simply broadcasting status updates wasn’t enough; people had to interact one-on-one with others in their network,” the company says in its blog.
The blog post came the same week as a former Facebook executive said the social media giant is “destroying how society works.”