Ger Facebook depression?

Den nya studien ”The Economic Effects of Facebook” finner bland annat:

Using a large field experiment with over 1,765 individuals, we document the value of Facebook to users and its causal effect on news consumption and awareness, well-being and daily activities. Participants reveal how much they value one week of Facebook usage and are then randomly assigned to a validated Facebook restriction or normal use. Those who are off Facebook for a week reduce news consumption, are less likely to recognize politically-skewed news stories, report being less depressed and engage in healthier activities. One week of Facebook is worth $25, and this increases by 15% after experiencing a Facebook restriction (26% for women), reflecting information loss or that using Facebook may be addictive.

Det jag fann mest intressant var att värdet av en veckas Facebook-användande ansågs vara 25 dollar. Min egen värdering är något, men inte jättemycket, högre. Frågan är dock om det är bra att spendera tid där. Forskarna fann ju också att en veckas frånvaro ledde till mindre depressiva känslor.  Hur kan det förklaras?

The reduction in depression we find from being off of Facebook might be explained by two mechanisms. First, being off Facebook encourages individuals to engage in more positive, healthy activities, such as exercising and eating out less often, which could explain the improvement in mood. Second, Facebook itself might be a channel for decreasing subjective well-being, and changes in activities and consumption patterns could be a result of feeling better. Untangling the direction of causality would be an important area for future research.

Påverkar jag, genom bilder på restaurangmat, andra att äta för mycket och må sämre?