10 (Good and Bad) Ways Social Media Affects Your Mental Health

Save your sanity without tossing your smartphone (11 Photos)

Melissa Pheterson on Apr 10, 2012 at 5:46PM

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10 (Good and Bad) Ways Social Media Affects Your Mental Health

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BAD: You Might Grow Anxious About Conversing in Person...

After a draining day, an hour on Facebook with hundreds of “friends” is less taxing -- and more time-efficient than picking up the phone or schlepping out. But is online connection eclipsing real conversation? “Facebook crowds out other things,” says Sherry Turkle, Ph.D., MIT professor and author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. “Over time, you almost start to feel phobic about conversation.” Make an effort to pick up the phone; better yet, meet up with a friend or take a walk. “Smile at people,” says Dr. Cantor. “Research says it produces changes in the brain that are pleasurable.”

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