Is Facebook Dinging Your Self Esteem?
A new study of 600 Facebook users conducted by two universities in Germany has concluded that Facebook users have a one in three chance of being envious of other Facebook contacts, leading to depression. The study explained that by reading status updates of friends who have posted about expensive vacations, new cars, family bliss and other seemingly impossible achievements, many of us feel worse after visiting Facebook than we did before. Reading these claims can leave readers feeling jealous, lonely, and dissatisfied with their lives.
The study indicates that with over a billion users on Facebook it has become one of the most well-known and widely visited social platforms on the Internet. One of the participants in the research said the team was surprised at the number of negative experiences people who visited Facebook actually had. Of those polled, some said they even felt anger towards those who posted of an idyllic life that seemed out of reach to many. Some Facebook users have felt such a saturation of dissatisfaction that they either limited their visitation greatly or quit altogether.
Interestingly, the team of researchers found that pictures of vacations were the number one cause of dissention, half of whom were most envious of those who were vacationing during a holiday. The second most stated reason of unhappiness was the comparison of interaction between others and their friends than the user and their own group of friends. Of those, the number of birthday well wishes or number of likes on a particular photo or statement was compared to the users' own numbers. Once the user tallied their counterparts had larger numbers of interactions, the misery would then become elevated.
As far as the statistics of those who were unhappy, the study found that women with an average age of 35 envied others physical appearance while men and women both in their 30’s, envied those who seemed to have more family happiness than they. The dissatisfaction of these users prompted many to boast of their own achievements, both actual and fantasy. Men boasted more of their accomplishments in life, while women would focus on their looks and social status. Although this study was set in Germany, the researchers concluded that they would get the same findings anywhere in the world.