Using Facebook can reduce young adults’ sense of well-being and satisfaction with their lives, a new study has found.
And the more time users spend on Facebook, the worse these feelings get, according to researchers from the University of Michigan.
Facebook and life satisfaction linked
Study participants were monitored for two weeks.
During this time they reported their usage of Facebook as well as how they were feeling, whether they were worried by anything and how lonely they felt after browsing Facebook.
The study concluded that the participants' levels of life satisfaction declined in direct correlation with an increase in the amount of time they spent on the site.
Potential for ‘psychological difficulties’
Internet psychologist Graham Jones, a member of the British Psychological Society, believes a cautious approach to Facebook is required.
Jones said: "There is now growing evidence that Facebook does have the potential for psychological difficulties.
"It means that, just as in everything else in life, a balanced approach is required.
"Overuse, over-reliance and over-rating the benefits of Facebook could be the root of problems."
One billion users
There are more than one billion user accounts on Facebook and half of them are accessed on a daily basis.
Dr Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University, said: "We’re teetering on the balance – too much time online can lead to health problems and narcissism.
"But it can also teach you to be more empathic and develop your sense of self."