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Study says Facebook could destroy both your mental and physical health

Scary findings

Photo Illustration by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

A new study has found that Facebook usage has negatively impacted users' mental and physical health.

What are the details?

According to Business Insider, researchers from UC San Diego and Yale monitored Facebook usage of 5,208 adult participants over a period of two years.

Their results were concerning to say the least, and their only suggestion is to limit Facebook time.

The researchers discovered that spending time on the social media platform promotes "negative self-comparison" and simply mimics intimacy between people, something one can benefit from only in real life.

During the study, researchers were able to check in with subjects on their "emotional and physical well-being, as well as their body-mass index."

In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, the researchers said that the more people use Facebook, the worse they actually feel.

"Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being," the researchers wrote. "These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year."

The researchers found that users often compare their lives to that of other users, and feel that they fall short in return.

"Exposure to the carefully curated images from others' lives leads to negative self-comparison," the researchers determined.

What's worse is that it would appear that Facebook's connectivity is superficial at best and is a poor substitute for intimate connections with friends and family members.

What else did the researchers say?

"Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being," researchers added.

"These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year," researchers continued. "We found consistently that both liking others' content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction."

Researchers concluded that social media is only duping people into believing that they are cultivating genuine connections with other people.

"While screen time in general can be problematic, the tricky thing about social media is that while we are using it, we get the impression that we are engaging in meaningful social interaction," researchers wrote. "Our results suggest that the nature and quality of this sort of connection is no substitute for the real world interaction we need for a healthy life."

One last thing…
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