A new study found that people who update their Facebook status frequently feel less lonely.
Researchers found that college students who tended to post more updates on Facebook seemed to be less lonely over the course of a week. This feeling persisted even if no one commented or ‘Liked’ their posts.
Fenne Deters, the University of Berlin’s psychology researcher, said to ‘LiveScience’ that they got the idea of the research topic at the time of a coffee-break when people had shared stories about their friends’ posts on Facebook. Deters said that they wondered about the reason of the popularity of updating status and then found it interesting enough to conduct a research on this new type of communication experimentally.
Deters, along with fellow researchers, picked up University of Arizona’s 100 undergraduate students – who were active Facebook users too – for their study.
The researchers asked the students to fill surveys for estimating their levels of depression, happiness, and loneliness. They also got connected with the participants’ Facebook profiles by friending them through a dummy user created for the research.
An analysis of the students’ weekly status updates was sent to them and then, the researchers asked some of the participants to post more statuses than the past seven days. Throughout the week, each of the participants had to fill out a questionnaire about their social connection level and mood at the end of each day. The research team found that those who posted more updates over the week felt less lonely. They connected the drop in depression and increment in happiness to an enhanced feeling of being more socially connected. They also found that the level of happiness was not dependent on whether anyone ‘Liked’ or ‘commented’ on their statuses.
Lack of response on the statuses could be considered as a form of rejection but the researchers thought that just writing a status itself helped people feeling more connected.
Social Psychological and Personality Science published the study.