A University of Michigan study reported in August that Facebook makes users unhappy. The researchers polled 82 college students and concluded that the act of browsing other people’s highlight reels and comparing them to their own humdrum existences led to depression and loneliness. But that study was hardly fair, nor a reasonable representation of the 700 million daily Facebookers.
Is there a correlation between happiness and frequency of Facebook posts? Yes, according to a study by the University of Michigan, released Wednesday, which found that the more people used the social network during a specified time period, the worse they felt.
Taking a trip down memory lane on Facebook may actually have some positive benefits. When users look back at great times with friends and party photos from college, they may notice themselves smiling a little more. That’s not by accident, according to a study by University of Portsmouth researchers, who discovered that looking back at old Facebook photos promotes positive reminiscing and a self-soothing feeling.
Facebook may have some negative effects on our mental well-being, but can posting status updates regularly make a person feel less lonely and more connected to the world? Researchers studied a small group of University of Arizona students, seeing how Facebook affected their moods, and finding that those who posted more frequently didn’t feel as lonely.
While we may seem happy on Facebook, liking pages on a daily basis and posting inspirational photos, does the social network really bring us joy? That’s what researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Georgia wanted to find out. They believe that Facebook might be making us feel better about ourselves.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Facebook has released some interesting findings about how positive or negative people are, based on their profile relationship status. Since Sep 8, 2007, Facebook’s Data Scientists have been studying a user metric called the USA Gross National Happiness Index which was used in this latest analysis.
Facebook has been working on a number of side projects over the past couple years which involve measuring the sentiment of users on the site. The company’s latest project, first announced yesterday afternoon, is the United States Gross National Happiness index. The newly launched tool polls users’ status updates within the United States and then measures their sentiment to determine the collective happiness. While I’m still a little bit cynical of sentiment analysis, there are some definite correlations between holidays and positive updates on Facebook.