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Facebook can produce ‘natural highs’ in users

Facebook can produce “natural highs” in many people, lowering levels of anxiety and stress, according to mental health experts.

social media Updated: Feb 11, 2012 17:56 IST

Facebook can produce “natural highs” in many people, lowering levels of anxiety and stress, according to mental health experts.

Until now the popular social networking site has been blamed for all manner of ills - bullying, depression and antisocial behaviour.

But scientists have now discovered that logging on to the site is like attending an online party.

According to a new study, the so-called buzz created by the site could help explain the massive success of social networking, and of Facebook in particular.

The Italian study monitored 30 regular Facebook users’ physical reactions, such as their pupil dilation, blood flow and breathing, while they were on the site and concluded it made them more healthy, “joyful” and “intellectually aroused”.

Melbourne psychologist Dr Simon Crisp said using Facebook provided an interesting social challenge for its users.

“It is like an online party, and the more it gets closer to that type of interaction, the greater the engagement is likely to be and therefore the greater the enjoyment for people,” the Herald Sun quoted Dr Crisp as saying.

The study was published in online journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking.