University of Houston researcher links use of Facebook to depression

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HOUSTON, TX – Feeling blue?  Need a boost?  Whatever you do, don’t check Facebook.

University of Houston researcher Mai-Ly Nguyen Steers says that thanks to the most popular social media website we’re more likely to compare our lives to others, and therefore, we’re more likely to develop depressive symptoms.

“You have no idea what your friends are going to post,” explained Steers, “And we’re now exposed to more information than ever before.  So, this now gives us more opportunities for which to socially compare ourselves.”

And the bombardment comes from all directions; your “friends” post pictures of their amazing vacations while you’re struggling to make ends meet, others announce their engagement right after you get dumped.  Their lives seem so wonderful compared to yours.

“It’s not necessarily that people are lying on Facebook, but they engage in what social psychologists call self-presentation,” said the researcher.

Like it, share it, or jump off a bridge.  Are those the only options?

“I don’t know if you’d want to jump off a bridge, hopefully not,” she laughed.  “But you have to keep in mind that what you’re comparing yourself to is a positively-distorted image of your friends’ lives.”

Perhaps social media is making us more anti-social.  Oh, what a clever punchline!  My Facebook friends will love it.

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