LOS ANGELES: Facebook has admitted that passively scrolling through posts on the social media network can leave people feeling worse afterwards.
Researchers David Ginsberg and Moira Burke in a blog post highlighted the positive and negative sides of using social media.
The authors cited one experiment in which students of the University of Michigan were randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10 minutes.
They were found in a worse mood at the end of the day than students assigned to post or talk to friends on Facebook.
A study from the University of California, San Diego and Yale in the US found that people who clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than average in a survey.
"Reading about others online might lead to negative social comparison - and perhaps even more so than offline, since people's posts are often more curated and flattering," David Ginsberg and Moira Burke wrote in the blog post.
Another theory is that the internet takes people away from social engagement in person.
"On the other hand, actively interacting with people - especially sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions - is linked to improvements in well-being," the researchers said.
"This ability to connect with relatives, classmates, and colleagues is what drew many of us to Facebook in the first place, and it's no surprise that staying in touch with these friends and loved ones brings us joy and strengthens our sense of community," they said.
A study conducted at the Carnegie Mellon University in the US found that people who sent or received more messages, comments and timeline posts reported improvements in social support, depression and loneliness.
According to the researchers, the positive effects were even stronger when people talked with their close friends online.
"Simply broadcasting status updates was not enough, people had to interact one-on-one with others in their network," they said.