Facebook can cause depression, says Israeli study

Only 15 minutes of surfing the social media platform is enough to cause depression, a new Israeli study suggests.

By World Israel News Staff

A study managed by a social psychologist from the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem concludes that 15 minutes of surfing on Facebook is enough to make one vulnerable to depression, mainly as a result of reduced self-esteem.

The study, conducted by Dr. Yitzhak Alfasi, used 80 frequent Facebook users between the ages of 19-35. The results, reported by Arutz-7 and Yediot Aharonot, were published in the international journal “Personality and Individual Differences.”

Subjects were divided into the “experimental” group, asked to surf the “News Feed” for about 15 minutes, and the “control” group, which surfed the official page of National Geographic on Facebook for an equal amount of time. The latter group did not encounter Facebook “friends.”

They were then asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their level of self-worth, according to Arutz-7. The results indicated that the former group suffered lower levels of self-esteem and more symptoms of depression.

“The findings of the study indicate that exposure to social networks can have a psychologically negative effect,” Dr. Alfasi said. “The cumulative effect of the impairment on the sense of self-esteem and mental well-being may be significant.”

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