Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites. But, looks like it is not always joy one experiences when one surfs through Facebook posts, pictures, and updates. As per German researchers, Facebook makes a lot of people feel bad and depressed.
As per TIME, the scientists studied 600 people who logged time on the social network and discovered that 1 in 3 felt worse after visiting the site—especially if they viewed vacation photos.
Another interesting finding was that even those Facebook frequenters who spent time on the site, but did not post any of their own content, were also more likely to feel dissatisfied.
Expressing surprise regarding the findings, Hanna Krasnova study-author, from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University, said,
We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry. From our observations some of these people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site.
Why do Facebook posts make one feel bad? It is when we ‘compare’. The researchers found that the most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was ‘lack of attention’ from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends! Sad, is it not, that we become so dependent on a mere ‘like or comment’ to value our individual self-worth?
A very important observation by the study authors is that they noticed that both men and women like to portray themselves in the ‘best light’ possible to their Facebook friends. Most men post very self-promotional content, while women are more likely to stress their physical attractiveness and sociability.
I am in complete agreement with the above observation by the researchers; it is on a very rare occasion (perhaps never at all, I have read about some one’s trauma, feelings of misery, depression, or ill-health on Facebook). Hence, it is always helpful to remember, that we do not get to see the complete picture about a person’s life, but see just a ‘sunny part’ of a person’s life on Facebook. The warts are always hidden from view.
The authors suggest that if the hurtful feelings grow, Facebook and other social media may no longer be a fun way to stay connected with friends, but could become just another source of stress for people.
But there is a silver lining, for so far it seems that the positive effects of being socially connected surpasses the negative effects of feeling sad or bad. I hope this stays, for personally I believe that Facebook is a great platform to connect and share not just personal moments, but also share views about articles read, movies seen, music heard etc.
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