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Dated: Aug. 21, 2013
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If you don't know what Facebook is (if you have been hiding under a rock for the past 9 years) it is an online social networking service, whose name stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some university administrations in the United States to help students get to know each other. It was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.
Facebook is designed as a place to connect people, but there has been a lot of talk about the other side of the coin, and that it is one more cog in the machinery of ever greater alienation. The research team from the University of Michigan believes that Facebook is one of the reasons for the unhappiness.
According to their research, those who often sift through their news feed, look at the photos of their friends, leave comments or like something on Facebook, tend to feel unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives more than others.
Although the exact reasons for this are not yet established, scientists believe that it is not true that people are increasingly turning to social networks when they are sad, but social networking is what is largely is responsible for such feelings.
"Because of the nature of social networks, people often tell about the positive things that happen in their life. Because of that other people can get the wrong impression about the lives of others and tend to believe that their life is worse compared to the lives of their friends, who 'do all these wonderful things about which they write, "says Oscar Ibarra, a psychologist at the University of Michigan.
He said that relations between people in person give a number of positive effects and that research has shown that those who are socially more connected live longer and live happier than others.
"Science has rarely dealt with 'online' relationships and their impact on people, but every day more than 500 million people log into Facebook. We did a quick 14-day study of 80 people and we got some interesting results," said Ibarra.
He explained that all the participants at the beginning did psychological testing and they evaluated their lives, level of satisfaction, self-esteem, depression, and other factors.
After that, for two weeks at random intervals, they answered questions about how they feel, and a correlation has been established between the decline in satisfaction and being on Facebook.
Of course, the pattern and duration of the study does not give room for firmer answers, but from this University they claim that the initial indications are very clear.
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