The researchers also tested to see if ANY form of social interaction might cause a similar decrease. Perhaps talking to others just makes us feel worse about ourselves? Not so, the study concluded: "Interacting with other people 'directly' did not predict declines in well-being. In fact, direct social network interactions led people to feel better over time. This suggests that Facebook use may constitute a unique form of social network interaction that predicts impoverished well-being."
Are you depressed just reading this? Don't panic yet. This is just a correlational (not causal) study, the average respondent was about 19 years old, and it only applies to Facebook. There's too many variables — like other age groups and other social media platforms — that remain untested to draw a definitive conclusion here. Additionally, Scientific American points out, "since participants were reporting on their mood and Facebook use at the same time, it could be that reflecting on how they felt could have changed how much they remembered using Facebook." Still, though, the study suggests that no matter what, face-to-face communication is generally more satisfying for people than remote, digital contact. Deep down, you already knew that, right? (Scientific American)