ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A new study finds that people look at their old pictures on Facebook to battle depression.

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom found that 90 percent of Facebook users log on to their account just to remember happier times, The Mirror reports.

The study found that nostalgic photos and older comments can be used to “self-sooth.” Similar kind of therapy is commonly used on older people who experience memory loss.

“Scientists found a growth in ‘self-soothing’ on Facebook is helping users especially if they are prone to feeling low,” Dr. Alice Good, lead author of the study, told The Mirror. “The results indicate we could use self-soothing as a form of treatment for low moods.”

Dr. Good was a little surprised by the results and would like to study a larger group.

“We were very surprised by these findings, which contradict some recent reports,” Good added. “Although this was only a small study, we will go on to study larger groups to see if the results remain consistent.”

“Facebook is marketed as a means of communicating with others,” psychologist Dr. Clare Wilson said. “Yet this research shows we are more likely to use it to connect with our past selves, perhaps when our present selves need reassuring.”

The study was published in the Orlando-based journal Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction.


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