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Beware -- too much Facebook will leave you depressed!

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : October 7, 2014 3:06 PM IST

facebook addictionDo you often feel you have wasted time on Facebook or termed it as a meaningless activity but still cannot let your eyes move away from the screen? You are at the risk of developing depression. According to new research, while the social networking site is there to help you stay in touch with your near and dear ones, there are consequences to its consistent use, including a 'lowered life satisfaction of basic psychological needs and dampened mood'.

'There is a link between a dampened mood and Facebook,' informed Austrian psychologists Christina Sagioglou and Tobias Greitmeyer. During the three-phase study, they first analysed 123 German speaking active Facebook users. Most of them showed a mood decline after spending time on Facebook, including a sense of growing loneliness.

In the second phase, 263 people volunteered through Amazon's Mechanical Turk programme. The findings once again displayed a mood decline in those visiting Facebook. In the last phase, 101 active Facebook users were asked if logging into Facebook would make them happier or feel down. Most of the participants reported feeling worse and lonelier when they logged off, Viral Global News reported.

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The paper was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Here are a few tips to fight the Facebook Addiction

  1. Admit it. You are addicted to Facebook. It gives you the same rush, the same heady high of that first cigarette of the day. Admission is the first step to rehabilitation. This applies to any kind of addiction.
  2. Be honest with yourself. Your virtual life has taken over your real life. In fact, you end up thinking I need to update/upload this on my profile. Your need to take perfect holiday pictures overrules the actual enjoyment of the holiday. You need to focus on staying in the present.
  3. Pause to think before you log on to your account next time what am I looking for? Why am I here? Making a mental note about what you plan to do once you are logged on gives you a direction to follow. Make a physical note if you must.
  4. Reflect on what you did once you logged on Did I click on random feeds and pictures? Did I upload or commented once I logged on? Reflection will help you assess how much you were able to keep up with your plan. Most importantly, reflect on how you felt about what you did or read. Did it make you feel good or bad about yourself? If the answer to either is yes each time, your self-worth has started to depend on your virtual life rather than the real you.
  5. Ask yourself if you can go without Facebook for a day. Remember, you had a life even before Facebook came into existence. Reclaim it. Now your virtual avatar has taken over your real life.
  6. Stop wasting time decide on time limit before you log on. Set an alarm if necessary. No, setting 2 hours as a limit is not acceptable. No wonder you are addicted. 20 minutes maximum that's a good limit. Twice a day should suffice.
  7. Start ignoring the pokes and the feeds that are constantly bombarded at you. You don't have to check every single thing out. And turn those notifications on your smart phones off!
  8. Disconnecting your account or the internet connection is an option you can consider. Though, that may not be advisable at the beginning. The withdrawal symptoms would be too much to handle. Instead, you can stop using the Facebook application on your android so frequently. Believe me, out of your 800 odd friends, maybe only 3 really care if you are stuck in traffic or wondering what to cook.

What you can do is maybe take up ballet dancing. Practice swordplay. Occupy yourself so that you don't think about Facebook. Do new out-of-the-box things. Get addicted to life!

Picture Source: The Dummy Page (https://www.facebook.com/TheDummyPage)

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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