Feeling miserable? A new study has linked "declines in subjective well-being" (aka happiness) to using the world's most popular social network.
According to researchers from the University of Michigan, a sample of 82 young Facebook users (average age: 20) reported feeling less happy after using Facebook. As study co-author Ethan Kross told ABC, there is "something unique about Facebook use that is making people feel worse."
The root cause of our apparent Facebook displeasure is the idea that we're falling short of our "friends" online. But only online friends. When researchers measured people's happiness after face-to-face or phone interactions, there was no measured drop in happiness. In fact, just the opposite. Personal contact with other people led the study's subjects to feel better over time. "This suggests that Facebook use may constitute a unique form of social network interaction that predicts impoverished well-being," the study's authors wrote.