Facebook Proven to Negatively Impact Mental Health



giuliomagnifico 7d
> They found a statistically significant worsening in mental health symptoms, especially depression and anxiety, after the arrival of Facebook:

7% increase in number of students who reported having suffering, at least once during the preceding year, depression so severe that it was difficult for them to function

20% increase in number of students who reported anxiety disorders

2% increase in number of students expected to experience moderate to severe depression

3% increase in number of students experienced impairment to their academic performance due to depression or anxiety

sbf501 7d
I'd like to see similar study about the original gateway drug: "24-hour News Channels", which was followed by "24-hour Outrage-News Channels". Seems like we've been building toward this, the interactivity of the internet was the paradigm shift (to use a 90's term). EDIT: I realize it isn't news messing with youths' self-esteem (well, in some cases it is), but it is related in that the media is custom-made to drive engagement at all costs.
sidcool 7d
Not just FB, LinkedIn has a similar effect, just on a different demographic.
changoplatanero 7d
I don’t get why Facebook is so often singled out in these types of studies. What about other activities like dating or school or going to church? I bet those can be shown to increase anxiety and be bad for mental health
ramesh31 7d
Facebook was just the beginning. It feels crude almost in comparison to the new generation of designer drugs (TikTok et. al).
sna1l 7d
I don't understand why this is causation vs correlation?
taytus 7d
From all my digital addictions, FB is the one I have most under control.

I have to do a lot of blocking but the reality is that I can now say I do enjoy Facebook.

My timeline is filled with content I meticulously have curated:Woodworking, Baking, Canoeing, Startups, Beekeeping, Jeeps.

But... it shouldn't take all this work to enjoy it.

bannedbybros 7d
[deleted by user]
wfbarks 7d
I took a long break (maybe 5 years or so) but I have recently started using both FB and Instagram and have been surprised at how positive my time has been on these platforms. On FB I have been finding interesting local groups and events (just moved to a new city) and on Instagram, I have been enjoying seeing updates from real friends.

On the other hand I recently deleted Twitter from my phone. I love twitter for getting interesting infromation and staying up to date with news, but the whole culture there has just turned into cheap dunking on one another, and its just guaranteed to leave you feeling angry about something. Extremely disruptive to mental state.

I spend some time on the TikTok-like products as well (youtube shorts / fb reels) and have found them to be just a really easy way to completely waste an hour for no reason whatsoever. Less disruptive to mental state than twitter though.

DamnInteresting 7d
I do not care for this trend of omitting the publication date from news articles. Temporal context is very relevant in news articles, especially to assess whether the information has been superseded.

(I know, one can often find the publication date in the HTML source, but that requires savvy, and should not be necessary.)

matai_kolila 7d
IDK... I know Facebook feeds are different for each person but for me there are basically zero posts from people I know on Facebook anymore, it's just ads and videos of random TikTok style videos.
inamberclad 7d
I wonder how people continue to work at Facebook. I know they tend to have the highest salaries from the FAANG groups, but still. We, as engineers and builders, have the responsibility to think critically about how the things we are working on will be used.
PragmaticPulp 7d
Anecdotally, Facebook seems relatively tame these days compared to the firehose of doom & gloom, violent videos, outrage porn, and outright misinformation that fills Reddit and Twitter. Browsing Reddit’s default feeds or popular posts is a wild experience these days.
dougweltman 7d
holoduke 7d
Today I disabled Facebook and Instagram. I also removed all shortlinks to various newssites. I want to avoid them as well. Including Reddit . The only thing I am allowed to read is hackernews. I find that one of the few good sources. Even for general news.
jrochkind1 7d
Is the research design capable of distinguishing from the opposite causation here; what if people who are more depressed are more likely to use facebook more?

This occurred to me because I more and more think of social media use in terms of addiction. For more typical addictive behavior with drugs, we are more likely to think people who are depressed are more likely to develop addictive relationship to alcohol (or other drugs), than we are to think using alcohol (or other drugs) too much will makes you depressed. Although I suppose it can be somewhat circular and complex.

andrewla 7d
As with all studies in the social sciences, one of two principles apply.

First, if the conclusions are counterintuitive or unexpected, then when you look closer, you will find that the methodology is garbage and that it does not support the conclusions given.

Second, if the conclusions reflect things that you believe are true, when you look closer, you will find that the methodology is garbage and that it does not support the conclusions given.

ranger47 7d
Who needed a study? We've known this for years, and it was even speculated at the dawn of Friendster, MySpace, etc. Watching a society (the US, for example) slowly say "social media is bad" then continue to use it is like watching a stumbling drunk declare their ability to quit drinking anytime they want.
Karawebnetwork 7d
As a manager of a large page (several million reach per day), I often feel uncomfortable. On the one hand, Facebook is the best platform to reach many people. On the other hand, I think it is unethical to encourage people to stay on the platform. I also think that if I were to close the page, the void would be filled by the next person.

My ego tells me that since I'm aware of these problems, I can do my best to keep my page from turning into a doomscrolling experience. Yet, once again, the algorithm doesn't display my posts in their natural order, only the controversial ones, so the doomscrolling happens anyway.

I often keep up at night to think about it and I feel like there is no good answer.

kzz102 7d
We shouldn't encourage this type of reporting of academic results.

A better headline: "Evidence towards causal relations between mental health issues and Facebook use for some College students in 2004". If this doesn't look newsworthy, it's because it isn't. Single academic result is almost never newsworthy.

juancn 7d
Does anyone still use facebook? I mean, I'm 45 and just my mom uses it.

Are they sure the mental health impact is not just senility?


jessenichols 7d
This just in, food is also misused and proven to cause ill health in the majority of people, stop eating food now.
jeff-davis 7d
I'm pleased to see the word "causation" reappear along with the word "science".

But I'm disappointed to see the word "proven". It isn't proven, and there are a number of problems.

One is that the hypothesis is never really tested, this is just more data analysis. I don't want to split hairs over the definition of "science" but if you don't have an experiment where you intervene in the real world and dispassionately record what happens, then it's probably not science.

The scientific method is a causation-finding machine intended to avoid all of the errors that humans are likely to make. Perhaps that leads to too few exciting results, so now we have a bunch of "scientific studies" instead.

Melatonic 7d
Breaking news: Water is wet. Facebook is fucked.

In all seriousness though glad to see this is actually being seriously studied

theboywho 7d
I'm starting to suspect HN to have the same effect, the more I read HN the more unmotivated I feel.

Unfavorable comparisons with "successful" people/projects who make it to the front page could be behind the same effects.

2-718-281-828 7d
Off Facebook for more than five years ... and still not mentally healthy. I feel cheated.
dougmccune 7d
This was studying Facebook circa 2004-2006. That version of Facebook was laughably basic at that point. If I remember right it was a chronological list of posts on your wall. There was no algorithmic feed. Hell, the news feed at all was only launched in late 2006. There was no video. There were no ads. Nobody made content hoping to get rich and outrage didn’t sell. If only we could go back to such an innocent time.