An article published today to the University of Michigan News Service details the methodology of the study, for which U-M social psychologist Ethan Kross acted as the lead author. Kross and his fellow researchers analyzed the Facebook habits of 82 young adults, to whom they sent text messages that contained an online survey, at random times over the course of two weeks. Two of the survey questions were "How do you feel right now?" and "How much have you used Facebook since the last time we asked?" When users were more active on the social networking site during a given time period, their answers to this and the other questions indicated that they felt worse.
In the same article, U-M cognitive neuroscientist John Jonides is quoted as saying, "This is a result of critical importance because it goes to the very heart of the influence that social networks may have on people's lives." Jonides is one of the paper's other authors.
Read the full study on the PLOS ONE website, which published the results yesterday (August 14), and learn more about the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.