Study: Browsing Facebook too much leads to envy, depression

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

There is a potential side effect to constantly staying updated with every "post" and "like" by your friends on Facebook.

A new study from several major universities shows heavy Facebook users often begin to experience envy of the lifestyle and activities of their friends, CNN Money reports. Those feelings of envy can then trigger sadness and lead to serious depression.

The study surveyed 736 college students, and it found that if you spend too much time on Facebook and silently stalk or follow your friends, you can begin to think your life isn't as good as theirs and can start to doubt or feel bad about your own personal status.

"If Facebook is used to see how well an acquaintance is doing financially or how happy an old friend is in his relationship - things that cause envy among users - use of the site can lead to feelings of depression," said Margaret Duffy, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

The professors of the survey also point out that users who engage in daily surveillance on Facebook begin to experience symptoms of depression, while those who used Facebook in a healthy and fun way to stay connected with friends and family did not suffer any gloomy effects.