Using Facebook may makes us feel more connected, but it does not necessarily make us happy, according to the findings of a new study.
Research comparing how 82 young adults felt at differenttimes of the day with their Facebook use found that regular use ofthe social network predicted a decline in user well-being.
Researchers based at the University of Michigan sent text messagesto each participant five times a day to examine how they werefeeling emotionally from “moment-to-moment” and how "satisfied"they were with their lives.
Questions the participants were askedto answer included: "How do you feel right now? How worried are youright now? How lonely do you feel right now? How much have you usedFacebook since the last time we asked? How much have you interactedwith other people "directly" since the last time we asked?"
Resultsshowed that the more the participants were active on the socialnetworking site during one period, the worse they subsequentlyfelt.
But the more face-to-face contact participants had with otherpeople, the happier they gradually became.
They also found noevidence for two alternative possible explanations for the findingthat Facebook undermines happiness - people were not more likely touse Facebook when they felt bad.
In addition, although participantswere more likely to use Facebook when they were lonely, lonelinessand Facebook use both independently predicted how happyparticipants felt afterwards.
Ethan Kross, lead author on the studysaid: "On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource forfulfilling the basic human need for social connection.
"But ratherthan enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts theopposite result - it undermines it."
"This is a result of criticalimportance because it goes to the very heart of the influence thatsocial networks may have on people's lives," added John Jonides,co-author of the study.
Their results were published in the PLOSONE journal.
The research concluded that whilst Facebook “providesan invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need forsocial connection”, rather than improving well-being “thesefindings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.”