CBS Local– When perusing Facebook, time seems to cruise on by. Just a minute or two seems to gain momentum that’s difficult to stop. This isn’t only because of how we mindlessly continue scrolling, but because Facebook use has a negative effect on our perception of time, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

This conclusion was derived from running 44 participants through a test. The researchers would show the subjects images at different lengths of time, and the subjects would have to report back the time spent viewing. They’d see 20 images: five Facebook related, five internet related and ten generic ‘control’ images.

The researchers found that the subjects were more likely to underestimate the time they spent looking at the Facebook and internet images than the generic ones. They conclude that the perception of time is being hindered by an alteration to the attention process.

“We found evidence that Internet- and Facebook-related stimuli can distort time perception due to attention- and arousal-related mechanisms,” the researchers said.

The study was lead by Lazaros Gonidis and Dr. Dinkar Sharma, of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom.

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