Facebook Friends Can Actually Make You Better

Facebook has drawn both praise and criticism; praise because it has literally shrunken the world down to a few posts, pictures and updates, and has re-connected with our long-forgotten school friends; criticism because it is notorious to instill depression among its users.

Whether a good or bad influence, the fact of the matter is Facebook is here to stay. Something good should come out of it. This new study has shown us exactly that.

Friends-help-friends-on-Facebook-feel-better

Personal interactions on Facebook can have a deep and real impact on you, this new study by Carnegie Mellon University and Facebook researchers shows.

‘Facebook Likes’, however, do not instantly have the same effect as knowing someone you care for. What really makes people feel good is knowing that there are friends taking out time and commenting on their posts. Care shown by Facebook friends translates into psychological wellbeing.

“We’re not talking about anything that’s particularly labor-intensive,” said Moira Burke, a research scientist at Facebook who earned a PhD in human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon. “This can be a comment that’s just a sentence or two. The important thing is that someone such as a close friend takes the time to personalize it. The content may be uplifting, and the mere act of communication reminds recipients of the meaningful relationships in their lives.”

The studies are in contradiction with previous studies which say that time spent on social media is linked with isolation and dejection.

However, the type of material a person views and digests is also critical on Facebook and affects a person’s social communication skills and self-esteem.

The study provides evidence that receiving messages, and not sending them, is linked with better social interactions. Nevertheless, some consequences are dependent on a person’s own social skills. They also help those who are not comfortable interacting with other people face to face, allowing them to build on their relationships.

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