mood gremlins

Photo: Thinkstock

7 of 8
The Online Rabbit Hole Gremlin
Eighty-one minutes—that’s how much time the average woman spends every day on Facebook, finds one study at University of Gothenburg in Sweden. And the more time people spend on the social networking site, the more likely they are to be unhappy and discontent with their own lives. Correlation is not causation; it may be that we take refuge in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Path and so on, when we’re unhappy. Or, as we've all been told, the problem may be that we become discontent with our own lives after comparing ourselves to our “friends” who only eat the fanciest food, jet-set with flair, soar in their careers, and give birth to Gerber babies.

This might help: We know...we can cut back with apps like Facebook Nanny, which limits the time we spend on social networking sites. But for those of us without even that much self-control, terrific news! Jeffrey Hancock and Mary Gonzalez, who have studied Facebook’s effect on mental health, found one way to avoid the "my poor, pale, little life" syndrome: Post your own flattering photos, joyful events, and witty repartees. Posting positive information sets in motion a virtuous loop: by focusing on the best parts of our lives, we reinforce them. The person on your Wall is your best you—and it becomes you.


Next Story