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Post time 2013-3-24 21:02:53 |Display all floors

Looking at old photographs of yourself on Facebook can boost your mood - and be as soothing as a walk in the park, a new study found.


Researchers found users typically post positive pictures and status updates on the social networking site.

And looking back over these snaps and wall posts when upset or depressed reminds us of happier times.

Almost 90 percent of users access the site to look at their own wall posts, and three quarters do this when they are `feeling low`.

Dr Alice Good, from the University of Portsmouth`s School of Computing, found this `self-soothing` use of Facebook is beneficial to our mood.

The more prone somebody is to depression, the more effective this browsing is, the study found.

The findings contradict previous research, which suggested looking at Facebook can be bad for your mental health.

Dr Good said: `We were very surprised by these findings, which contradict some recent reports.

`The results indicate we could use self-soothing as a form of treatment for low moods.

`Although this was only a small study, we will go on to study larger groups to see if the results remain consistent.`

Dr Good questioned 144 Facebook users and found they often use the site to reminisce, using old photos and wall posts as a form of comfort.

The group had an average age of 34 and had slightly more men than women. Of these, 39 percent had a history of mental health problems.

A staggering 86 percent of participants visit Facebook more than once a day, with 75 percent looking at photos and 86 percent wall posts each time.

These were the most popular activities, and also those that made them happiest.

Psychologist Dr Clare Wilson, also from the University of Portsmouth, said: ``Facebook is marketed as a means of communicating with others, but this research shows we are more likely to use it to connect with our past selves, perhaps when our present selves need reassuring.``

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