Facebook and mental health: What’s the status

Megan Tomasiewicz, Opinion Editor

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It may seem like it is just a normal part of our everyday lives, a handy tool used to connect with family and look at friends’ pictures. But have you ever felt stressed out by Facebook?

An increasing number of scientific studies are finding that extended use of the social network may be harming our mental health, especially when it comes to teens and young adults.

Facebook can cause low self-esteem and even depression. For example, when a person perceives their Facebook friends as having more active, fuller lives via text updates and photos, it can make them feel bad about their supposedly boring lives.

However, this perception is probably skewed. Some people just have Facebook friends that post positive updates, rather than negative ones, but it can still hurt to see people having fun when you aren’t.

The Center for Eating Disorders surveyed 600 Facebook users from ages 16 to 40 and found that more than half of those surveyed felt bad about their bodies after seeing photos of themselves and their friends on the social media site.

A correlation between having a lot of Facebook friends and feeling stressed out by the site was also found.

It can be hard, but if Facebook is causing problems in your life, it is time for a break. Facebook is supposed to be fun, not harmful. Limit your number of friends to only those that you connect with frequently, and unfriend those that cause you the most pain.

As Facebook and other social media outlets become more integrated into our lives, it is important to maintain a healthy relationship with them. Just like drinking and tanning, too much Facebook can be bad for your health.

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