Facebook Posts Are Contagious, Study Shows

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

Facebook allows us to connect with friends and family all around the world. But you might want to consider un-friending your Negative Nancy pals, new research says.

According to a study published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE, your friend’s status update can affect your real life mood, no matter the mileage in between. More than a billion anonymous status updates from 100 million Facebook users were analyzed between January of 2009 and March of 2012. They were focusing on long-distance friendships spread throughout the top 100 largest US cities.

Behavior patterns are contagious, even through cyber space. With rain as a measurement tool, researchers determined if posts had positive or negative emotions with text analysis software. The study discovered a “multiplier effect on our emotions.” James Fowler, the study’s senior author from U.C. San Diego, explains: “This is a new way for emotions to spread that didn’t exist before.”

The bad news is, negative posts lead to more negativity on Facebook. “Ugh, file this under the worst day ever! FML!” – that friend we all have. But, on the upside, when you’re positive, your friends are more likely to be positive, too. And thinking outside your personal bubble, just imagine the impact social positivity could have on a global scale?

If disconnecting from Facebook gives you anxiety, and you find yourself spending endless hours on social media sites every day, you might be struggling with Internet addiction. An Internet addiction rehab center can help you learn healthy technology habits for a more productive lifestyle.

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