Passive Facebook Use & Unhappiness
German social scientist Dr. Hanna Krasnova and her team carried out two studies with 600 Facebook users which showed that infrequent users who read posts and clicked on photos but did not otherwise interact (“passive users”) were also more likely to report feeling unhappy. The reason they cited for this was envy (30%) and “lack of feedback” on their own posts (20%). While this was widely reported in the media as evidence that social media causes depression, the study showed no such direct correlation. What the study does suggest is people who are socially withdrawn are more prone to feel further alienated by passive social media use. Other social scientists have developed apps and other technologies that might better suit people suffering from mental illness.