A new study by two German researchers suggests that visiting the world's largest social network might be bad for your emotional health, as one out of three people feel worse after going to Facebook.
In a new report from researchers at two German universities titled "Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users' Life Satisfaction?" we find out that visiting the world's largest social network could be bad for our emotional health. Specifically, the researchers believe that our sense of envy increases with our time spent at the site, depending on our type of involvement.
It would seem, according to the study, that one in three people felt worse after visiting Facebook as well as more dissatisfied with their lives, and that the people who browsed more than they contributed being the most affected. Hanna Krasnova of the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin's Humbolt University said in an interview with Reuters that she was surprised at the number of people who have a negative experience from visiting Facebook. It seems that many felt varying degrees of envy which would leave them feeling lonely, frustrated, or angry.
Researchers from both Humbolt University and Darmstadt's Technical University found that some of the worse culprits for causing these feelings were posted images of vacations. Next to that social interaction was a cause of envy because of users comparing how many birthday greetings they might get to those of their Facebook friends.
Some of the other things they found out during the study that caused these negative feelings are:
- People in their mid-30's were most likely to envy family happiness.
- Women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness
- These feelings could prompt users to boast more about their achievements in order to portray themselves in a better light
- Men are more likely to post self-promotional content
- Women stressed their good looks and social lives.
The first study, of the two involving 600 people, looked at the scale, scope, and nature of envy incidents while the second looked at how envy was linked to the passive use of Facebook and life satisfaction.