Can Facebook Interactions Make People As Happy As Big Life Events?
You’ve been told social media could turn your kids into a narcissist or worse, a millennial (gasp). But if you believe everything you read then consider avoiding a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University that says Facebook could potentially replace your future grandchildren — or at least make your kid as happy as becoming a parent themselves. Their findings suggest that positive interactions on social media could have the same affect on their well-being as big life events, like getting married and having kids. Seeing how hard you worked for both of those things, that hardly seems fair.
The research, published by the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, was based on 1,910 Facebook users from 91 countries. Although mindless scrolling and liking did not make much of a difference, 60 comments a month from close friends lead to spikes in well-being as large as those associated with major life events (like bring your little social media fiend into this word). To be fair, that’s a lot of comments and in your case, it might be easier to just have another kid — you’ll get more likes that way too.
This challenges past research that says social media is generally bad for one’s mental health, and researchers suspect that’s because more in-depth interactions are closer to interactions in person, which you want your kid to be capable of, too. But don’t worry too much about your youngster. By the time they’re old enough for this to matter, grownups like you will have already ruined Facebook for them. (Hell, they’re on their way.) Junior will be rebelling with some good old fashioned human contact in no time.
[H/T] The New York Post