NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Thanks to social media, we now know more than we need to know, like whom Suzie from high school married and what Jake from accounting had for lunch. Turns out, the more we use Facebook the unhappier we are, according to a new study from Yale University and the University of California. The study tracked the mental health and social interactions of 5,200 participants over the course of two years.
"We had physical health, mental health, life satisfaction and BMI. So basically, over time the more you used Facebook the lower you scored on those different metrics," said Holly Baker Shakya, an assistant professor of public health at University of California, San Diego. "When you're on Facebook you're seeing these other people's very beautifully curated lives and are trying to live up to those expectations. So this can cause doubt, you know, questioning your own self-esteem and the way your own life is operating, et cetera."
Social media also adversely affects a teenager's sleep. Teens spend an average of 3 to 4 hours a night checking their social networking sites, according to a new poll. The reason: FOMO, fear of missing out.
"I worry about the lack of empathy our children develop by only communicating through technology," one woman told Fox 5.
"I think it's easy to get sucked into this false sense of reality," another mom said.
And the reality is not a word one should necessarily associate with social media.
"You're seeing what people want you to see," said Dr. Jeff Gardere, a psychologist. He added that you should never compare yourself to others "because no matter what you do, it's never going to be good enough because you see what everyone else is doing."
So rather than observing other's lives online, live your own with your family and friends.