top of page


Facebook Depression

By: Carlee

With over two billion active social media users and over 3 billion internet users, it is no surprise that social media plays a persuasive part in our everyday lives. The average American spends about three hours per day on social media, and about 20% of users admit they spend more than 6 hours per day on social media. 1.71 billion of those users are monthly active Facebook users.

So why do we love to scroll through Facebook so much? Some researchers say that Facebook targets our nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain that process pleasure and reward. Positive feedback from our friends on Facebook stimulates that part of the brain, resulting in the feel-good reaction that keeps us so addicted. Facebook can also put us into a “flow state,” or a positive mental state in which we are fully and happily involved in a task or project.

Even with these positive feelings, Facebook really isn’t that great for your mental health. Facebook and other sites can sometimes be linked to depression because social media can be a form of social comparison. This means that Facebook users are prone to comparing themselves to their Facebook friends, no matter in a positive or negative light. Social media gives users a distorted understanding of what their co-workers, classmates, and other friends have going on in their life.

It’s easy to overlook the personal things we have to look forward to when a Facebook friend makes a post about an amazing vacation or brand new house. In reality, a Facebook friend’s life situation is probably not as perfect as it seems. Everybody has their own individual struggles, and this something to be conscious about when surfing the web. For example, your high school classmate who just purchased a new house might be getting a new house because of problems with his/her marriage.

Another factor that can contribute to Facebook depression involves “the number game.” How many likes did you get on that post? How many friends do you have? This is something that we often take too personally. We can easily slip into a self-conscious state of mind because we did not get the response that we had expected. A percentage of Facebook users also accept all Facebook friend requests in a mission to have an abundance Facebook friends. When you accept a person on Facebook, keep in mind that the new friend can see any personal information on your Facebook page.

Lastly, the expectation that people have about social media is just unrealistic. People around the world are busier than ever, and we don’t get much time to ourselves. The excessive use of Facebook and other social media takes away from important tasks, like sleeping, eating healthy, and spending time with the people that really care for us. Worrying that a friend could become disappointed if we don’t wish them a happy birthday or like their new profile picture can add unnecessary stress on top of the stress we already have.

Social media can be a great way to stay in touch or stay busy during free time, but it is important to be mindful about how it can negatively affect our mental health. You can avoid the unwanted, unhealthy stress associated with social media by keeping all settings on private, by thinking before posting, and by cutting back on social media consumption altogether.


Featured Posts
bottom of page