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By The Numbers

Facebook is making you sad, plus it has an app you can’t use

Chau Tu Aug 16, 2013
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More than 128 million Americans log into the web version of Facebook every day, according to the social media site. That’s more than 40 percent of the entire country. And nearly 101 million people access the site through their phones (one study shows that Facebook is among the most popular activities for Americans who have smartphones). In fact, the average U.S. resident spends 32 minutes on Facebook daily — just on their phones alone. 

All in all, that’s a lot of time we spend on one social network. And guess what? It’s not making us any happier.

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Michigan surveyed 82 undergrads about their Facebook activity, and found the more time they spent on the site, the more likely they were to say they were feeling less happy and less satisfied with life.

“Everyday Facebook use leads to declines in subjective well-being, both how happy you feel moment to moment and how satisfied you feel with your life,” Ethan Kross, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan and a co-author of the study, told ABC News.

To gauge the survey participants’ feelings, researchers texted students five times a day. Mostly, researchers said, participants were feeling the classic case of FOMO — fear of missing out. Think about it: How many pictures of weddings or vacations do you see on Facebook? With all those happy pictures of friends hanging out or with their significant others and babies, it’s hard to boost your own self-esteem.

Now if that doesn’t make you feel down in the dumps quite yet, maybe this news will: you’re probably not invited to try out Facebook’s new VIP app.

AllThingsD reports that Facebook is testing out a new app specifically for celebrities. “We are currently testing some mobile features designed to help public figures interact with their fans,” a Facebook spokesperson told the site.

Essentially, the app allows celebrities to monitor their fan activity from a mobile device. So a celeb can push out a status on Facebook, and engage with fans right away with their smartphone or tablet. This comes after Facebook started verifying celebrity pages and profiles, a la Twitter, with a blue checkmark.

For now, the app is being tested with “a small group of partners,” according to the site.

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