Is Facebook causing Depression?

When you think of social media you probably think of Facebook first.  It is where we connect with friends and family to find out what is going on in their lives through pictures, status updates, messages and the like.  Without Facebook would you know so much about people in your network?  Although we have spoken about the advantages of Facebook’s network effects, can there also be some negative outcomes due to the use of Facebook?

This article is saying that Facebook is causing Depression.  Research is indicating that Facebook is making teens and college students depressed since they perceive that others are happier than they are based on status updates and pictures.

A friend of mine recently said that she felt overwhelmed and upset by Facebook because she kept seeing pictures of everybody going away with their boyfriends while her and her boyfriend didn’t go on vacation together.  I believe people are not going to post pictures and statuses about the sad moments in their lives.  Instead, they are only going to post about the happy times.

There is debate though about which one comes first.  Is it already depressed teenagers using the site and Facebook is proliferating the depression or is Facebook the direct cause of the depression itself?

I think only time will tell if Facebook is truly leading to depression since more research will have to be conducted.

Do you think Facebook really leads to Depression?  Do you feel depressed by Facebook?  Are you too hearing similar stories from friends that they feel depressed by Facebook?


6 thoughts on “Is Facebook causing Depression?

  1. Interesting article. I don’t think Facebook is causing depression, but think that people prone to depressive tendencies can have them accelerated by what they view on Facebook. If depression is a sort of diseased perception brought about by chemical unbalances in our brains, its easy to see how the mass amounts of perception to be had scrolling the profiles of Facebook can perpetuate symptoms of depression.

  2. Facebook probably does cause depression, not itself or the website directly but indirectly. This is the first story of me hearing about people being depressed from Facebook. Social media has become such an integral part of people’s lives that they log on constantly and update their profiles as they are doing activities at all time. When they aren’t updating, it’s stalking their friends and comparing themselves in all aspects, what is everyone doing? look at that photo? why’d they go there? I want to go there. I want to buy that, etc. These are all behavioral reactions and instinctual things that some people have been experiencing and doing for years except instead of hearing about it in conversation with real people, they are looking at it on the internet, and instead of voicing their opinion they are looking at it over and over. This is a clear example of how certain people need to take a step back from Facebook (and do so for their own safety). I’m going to say though that if Facebook is making people depressed, its probably would have happened anyway regardless, real life, social media life, or they may be depressed already.

    And, this may have been obvious but no, facebook does not depress me.

  3. I think there’s two sides to the same coin. On one hand, I feel like Facebook would counter depression by providing people with social connections that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. With depression and isolation going hand in hand, this makes sense. On the other hand, if people are comparing themselves to others based on Facebook posts, then there might a problem. As mentioned in the original post, it is standard practice to post about the highlights of life on Facebook, so it doesn’t exactly paint the perfect picture.

    I can tell you this from personal experience: it’s a bit tough to see all my friends posting about being at the beach while I’m bundled up in the snow.

  4. I think sometimes Facebook does gives people depression, it’s just like peer pressure. I remember one of my friend once told me that seeing everybody getting married and posting their honey moon photos on Facebook made her feel depressed. This kind of emotion is unavoidable if you live in social. But think about it, you can feel the same way even if you live without social and just stay in real life. We also gain the pressure from our work, our friends and we might feel depressed when in interpersonal communications. But i think Facebook somewhat magnifies these kinds of emotions because of its intensive, real time features. The fast pace of social media gives us immediate informations but on the contrary it brings us more anxieties.

  5. This article is quite interesting. I really have heard from some of my friends that Facebook caused depression for them because their friends like to show how happy they are on Facebook, which make them feel unhappy. I agree that most of people would post what they feel happy and share them with their friends on Facebook. I believe nobody would like to always post about losing jobs, getting divorced or something like that. I believe it is because Facebook conveys the message more quickly and widely. Before Facebook was born, people might not be so high profile. If someone traveled to some wonderful places, they probably would not tell everyone they knew in person. On the other hand, for a lot of people online “friends” on Facebook are usually not close friends in real life. So now it become easier for people to know the status about someone who may not be his close friend, which results in more comparisons among people and probably more depression after these comparisons.

  6. The article directs social media to a psychological or philosophical issue, or both? I agree with Sharon that such depression is just like peer pressure, or even worse like school bullying. But I wonder why people taking it seriously? Doesn’t everyone know that most of people would only post about their happy times rather than sad ones?
    I don’t think facebook cause this depression. It is just a better way method to proliferating it to a broader range.It’s like watching someone’s life, especially someone who might be closed to you, through a magnifier.
    But emotionally, I, as a ManU fan, felt bitter yesterday when my Chelsea friend posted about their goals during 3-0 on facebook.

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