The more you use Facebook, the greater your life dissatisfaction, according to new research published by the Public Library of Science. 

The study had participants, aged in their late teens or early twenties, to rate their feelings five times a day and also to record their direct social activities — such as phone calls and face-to-face encounters. Those who used Facebook a lot were more likely to notice a decline in satisfaction, whereas those who had more direct social contact in the “real world” noticed an increase in feelings of contentment.

Yes, Facebook and social media can be amazing tools, but sometimes we definitely use them in the wrong way. On the one hand, social media studies have found that the most common emotion aroused by Facebook is envy, which I find both worrying and sad. Facebook has been associated with sentiments of social tension, isolation and depression – and no wonder, with the tendency to compare ourselves to the ideal, edited online versions of themselves that people create. And the other extreme, we often use Facebook to continuously add to that model version of ourselves and so boost our emotional ego (as I’ve written about before here).

What is the solution to all of this? It could be a bit excessive to stop using social media altogether, considering that this is the way the world functions. But, like with so many other things, “everything in moderation” applies rather well. Facebook use is great, as long as it doesn’t trump spending time with real people!

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.