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July 03, 2014 06:17 PM

Negativity Is Contagious On Facebook

Sioux Falls, SD

Vanessa Ferguson's job title was incorrect. She is a clinical psychologist at Sanford Health.

Does facebook really influence your mood? According to a new study your facebook posts are actually contagious. Research shows a negative post can ruin your day, a positive one turns up users' emotions.

"It's just negative and they just like to complain on it,"  Holli Mart said.

With more than one billion users on Facebook, the likelihood of a couple of rants here and there are inevitable.

"I try to avoid negativity because I don't think people need to know about my day like that," Facebook user Ashley Churr said.

"Maybe it just depends on the day but I think most people use it as a way to complain about what's going on in their lives so they can get sympathy or empathy,"Avid Facebook user, Holli Mart said.

Mart says if someone writes a negative post, she'll just skip over it.

"I guess I don't really need to know about how some driver made you mad today and how you're just getting aggressive about it," Mart said. 

Experts say it's important to pay attention to how you perceive those kinds of posts.

"What we think, how we feel and what we do are very closely connected. And what we surround ourselves with or what the information that we take in can have an impact on that," Clinical Psychologist Vanessa Ferguson said.

According to the study, when positive posts were reduced on Facebook... Positive words in status updates decreased. But when there were fewer negative words, then positive statuses increased.

"There's something that seems to be influencing but there are other variables that could be affecting things as well," Ferguson said.

While negative posts might be hard to avoid, Mart says she rather use Facebook in a positive way.

"I've liked some news pages so it keeps me updated on current events and it keeps me connected to friends back home," Mart said.

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This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Vanessa Ferguson's job title was incorrect. She is a clinical psychologist at Sanford Health.

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