It Turns Out, Going On Facebook Is Even Worse For Your Health Than We Thought

by Francesca Maximé
Per Swantesson

Another day, another study showing the hazards of too much social media use on your mental — and physical — health.

Newsweek reported that this time, researchers at Johns Hopkins studied over 5 thousand Facebook users' behavior over a two-year period.

They looked at when people liked posts, created posts and clicked on posted links. Basically, how and when people compared their own posts to what their friends posted.

As it turns out, the study — published by Oxford University Press — found that the more users engaged, the crappier they felt:

We investigated the associations of Facebook activity and real-world social network activity with self-reported physical health, self-reported mental health, self-reported life satisfaction, and body mass index. Our results showed that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being.

So why, exactly, do people feel bad? That's still murky. The study doesn't provide a definitive answer.

Our results showed that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being.

Researchers did find, however, that users reported decreased mental and physical well-being after extensive use of the social site.

And, the sheer amount of time people spend on Facebook may also be a factor, because of limitations on what we can actually do, when we're always staring at our phones. From the study:

The negative associations of Facebook use were comparable to or greater in magnitude than the positive impact of offline interactions, which suggests a possible tradeoff between offline and online relationships.

Of course we already know we need to unplug from time to time.

But given the results of this study, it might be a good idea to make the effort to spend a little more time with friends IRL, rather than scrolling through your feed.

Get your squad together and plan brunch, bowling or a book club. Your body and mind will thank you.