Have you been feeling a little blue lately? Well, if you use Facebook heavily, that may be why. Recently, an extensive study of users in Poland found that excessive Facebook surfing is linked to mental illness such as depression, sexual dysfunction and a variety of other, more serious, addictions. The researchers even coined a term for such use, calling it "Facebook intrusion."
Facebook intrusion occurs when you spend enough time on the site that it interferes with your daily activities, personal relationships and routines. This type of addiction is now well-documented and can possibly be the reason why there has been a jump in depression diagnoses over the last 10 years. So next time you find yourself staring blankly at your Facebook screen, put it down and take a walk. It might save your sanity!
The study was conducted with over 600 participants, the average age being 28. The researchers found people that used Facebook heavily are more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression than people who use the site moderately. They also found that young males are more likely to suffer from Internet-based depression than any other group.
Online depression partially stems from the constant need to compare oneself to the events, pictures and news being uploaded daily from Facebook "friends." Introverts are also drawn to this kind of depression due to their overall lack of social skills. They turn to the Internet as a way to create a fictitious online persona, often making up details about their life that are nowhere close to the truth. The false sense of personal interaction is also a factor that plays into Facebook depression.