Facebook Depression or Facebook Contentment: The Relation Between Facebook Use and Well-Being

Facebook Depression or Facebook Contentment: The Relation Between Facebook Use and Well-Being

Jessica J. Joseph (Mount Royal University, Canada), Malinda Desjarlais (Mount Royal University, Canada) and Lucijana Herceg (Mount Royal University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4047-2.ch007

Abstract

Within the literature, Facebook has received much attention in order to understand the potential positive and negative effects associated with using the social networking site. The current chapter provides a discussion of the empirical support for the differential outcomes associated with actively posting and chatting on Facebook vs. passively browsing Facebook, as well as the underlying mechanisms for the effects. Specifically, the current chapter will discuss two perspectives related to the differential effects of active and passive Facebook use: Facebook contentment (a wellbeing enhancing effect) and Facebook depression (a wellbeing diminishing effect). The authors also discuss the extension of the results to other social media platforms and provide suggestions for future research.
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An Overview Of Facebook Use And Users

Internationally, over 1.7 billion people visit Facebook every month, with over 1.2 billion visits every day, and 85% of the logins occurring outside of North America (Stats, 2016). In relation to North American use, in November of 2016, the Pew Research Centre reported that Facebook remains the most popular social networking platform in the United States by an overwhelming margin (Greenwood, Perrin, & Duggan, 2016). Furthermore, in a 2015 study conducted by Forum Research on social media usage, Facebook remained the top social network in Canada, with 59% of respondents indicating they use Facebook and visit about nine times each week (McKinnon, 2015). On average, Facebook users are comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 39, with female users being slightly more common than male users (Greenwood, Perrin, & Duggan, 2016).

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