Being On Facebook Can Actually Make Us Happier

by hulotnimikoy

Namaste.

TIME

We can’t help but check Facebook, even though studies suggest it can trigger feelings of envy, worsen our self-esteem, and make us feel lonely. Beyond the emotional, some studies link spending time on Facebook to eating disorders.

But maybe we’re focusing too much on the negative. It turns out that positive emotions have stronger spreading power on Facebook than negative ones, according to new research published in PLOS ONE. James Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at University of California San Diego, has worked on previous social contagion studies, and found that things like obesity, smoking habits, happiness, loneliness, eating disorders, and even generosity spread among groups of friends. But in those cases, the participants had face-to-face contact with each other. “I had an expectation that we might not find [the same effect] online,” he says.

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