Warning! Facebook Can Bring You Down

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Most of us these days are connected to online social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Linkedin and use them on a daily basis. But some recent research is suggesting it may not be good for our emotional health!

A new study out of the University of Michigan by social psychologist Ethan Kross and his team, found that college-aged Facebook users ended up feeling worse about themselves after two weeks and their mood throughout the day darkened depending on how much they browsed Facebook. (Study participants rated themselves five times a day for two weeks.) Matter of fact, the more you used Facebook, the more your mood darkened, and the more your self-esteem dropped!

While other studies yield other results, these findings reinforce what I have found as a psychotherapist. We all tend to be outwardly focused, comparing ourselves to others in order to determine our self worth. Yikes! Of course, outward focus has been around forever, being one of the symptoms of unexpressed anger, but all these social media outlets popping up in recent years aren’t helping us learn to look within. And as we know, we are the ones who need to get it that we are okay/just fine, more than okay, warts and all.

So if you’re among the nearly 700 million active daily Facebook users, I suggest that while you are browsing and interacting, that you hold tight to the mantra: What I’m seeking is within me. I’m whole and complete no matter what. And repeat it until you click on “logout.” And think about logging out a little earlier!

Instead, I suggest you pick up a copy of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life and read a bit of it. There you will find many practical and simple hints to change any bad attitude that isn’t serving you. As well, you can learn how to renovate your communication so it will be more effective and loving, change your downer thinking, or handle your emotions in a constructive manner.

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