Israeli study: Facebook can cause depression

Facebook lowers self-esteem, new study finds, such that 15 minutes of surfing is enough to increase chances of depression.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


A new Israeli study was published in the international journal "Personality and Individual Differences" by Dr. Yitzhak Alfasi, a social psychologist from the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem, according to which 15 minutes of surfing on Facebook is enough to increase the chances of suffering from depression.

According to the study, whose main points were presented in Yediot Aharonot, the reason for this is that Facebook reduces self-esteem among surfers.

The study involved 80 subjects between the ages of 19 and 35 who make frequent daily use of Facebook. Subjects were divided into two groups: In the experimental group, subjects were asked to surf for about 15 minutes in the "News Feed" of their Facebook accounts. In the control group, the subjects were asked to surf for a similar period of time on the official page of National Geographic on Facebook, where the surfer does not encounter acquaintances. The subjects were then asked to complete a questionnaire that examined their level of self-worth and their feelings at that point in time.

According to the report, the subjects who surfed their News Feed showed a lower average level of self-esteem and more symptoms of depression than those in the control group. They were more inclined to agree with assertions such as "I tend to feel that I am a failure" and "I feel I have little to be proud of," and expressed more feelings of hopelessness, despair and disappointment with themselves.

"The findings of the study indicate that exposure to social networks can have a psychologically negative effect," Dr. Alfasi said. "The cumulative effect of the impairment on the sense of self-esteem and mental well-being may be significant."