Facebook can make you feel miserable and inadequate. Looking at other people’s exotic vacation photos, their handsome partners, reading about their successful relationships, how they’re knocking the ball out of the park professionally, can trigger lots of negative feelings. After all we are human.
A study conducted by two German universities found rampant envy on Facebook, and it has produced an unprecedented platform for social comparison.
The researchers found that one in three people felt worse after visiting the site and more dissatisfied with their lives, while people who browsed without contributing were affected the most.
“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt.
“From our observations some of these people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site,” said Krasnova, adding to speculation that Facebook could be reaching saturation point in some markets.
They found people aged in their mid-30s were most likely to envy family happiness while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness.
Men were shown to post more self-promotional content on Facebook to let people know about their accomplishments while women stressed their good looks and social lives.
“From a provider’s perspective, our findings signal that users frequently perceive Facebook as a stressful environment, which may, in the long-run, endanger platform sustainability,” the researchers concluded.
Have you ever been a victim of Facebook envy? Before you go beating yourself up – remember this. Many of the updates are uber-hyped. Successful people don’t have to go overboard to promote themselves on social networks.
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