From Science Daily: In the first study of its kind, public health researchers show that young adults who reported having negative experiences on Facebook -- including bullying, meanness, misunderstandings or unwanted contacts -- were at significantly higher risk of depression, even accounting for many possible confounding factors.
"I think it's important that people take interactions on social media seriously and don't think of it as somehow less impactful because it's a virtual experience as opposed to an in-person experience," said lead author Samantha Rosenthal, an epidemiology research associate in the Brown University School of Public Health who performed the research as part of her doctoral thesis at Brown. "It's a different forum that has real emotional consequences."
The study, in press in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is novel in at least two important ways. One is measurement of the prevalence, frequency, severity and nature of negative interpersonal experiences, as reported by the 264 participants. Other studies have used measures such as the amount of time spent using social media or the general tone of items in news feeds.