(STUDY FINDS) -- COLUMBUS, Ohio — Facebook “friends” may be helpful if you’re looking for a few compliments on a new outfit, but for college students, these online connections will rarely step up and offer legitimate guidance during a tough time, according to a new study. Researchers from Ohio State University say that when students post about feeling depressed, there is a very low likelihood any of their online friends will encourage that person to seek help.
While this study was relatively small, its results are nonetheless striking. Among the 33 college students who participated in the research and had posted about dealing with depression on social media, not a single one reported that any of their Facebook friends reached out to tell them to seek guidance from a mental health professional. Instead, friends that did reach out offered kind words or motivational statements.
Advertisement - story continues below
While supportive messages shouldn’t be completely disregarded as unhelpful for an individual struggling with depression, the study’s authors say that for many such words are simply not enough.