Oh, look! Another study that points out how evil Facebook is!
I am not sure why these Facebook articles interest me so much. I think I read them and am like, “Huh?! Why would a social media site affect someone that much?!”
Anyway, this latest study, conducted by two German Universities*, found that “1 in 3 people felt worse after visiting the site and more dissatisfied with their lives, while people who browsed without contributing were affected the most.” People felt most envious seeing other’s vacation photos, and secondly, by comparing how many “likes” or comments are made on their photos and posts. These comparisons made people feel “lonely, frustrated or angry,” and made them more likely to leave Facebook.
Okay. So we’ve all talked about our online identities and putting our best self out there (and how that may give others a false perception of how fab our lives are). And we’ve talked about FOMO, and how Facebook can make you feel like you are missing out (and again, give you a false perception of how much fun others are having). But, how envious does Facebook make you feel? Do you think the amount of envy may have to do with how envious (secure) of a person you already are?
I rarely feel envy – I cannot remember the last time I have. When I see something good happen to a friend on Facebook (or in real life), I am genuinely happy for them. I love seeing my friend’s vacation photos. Sure, I might comment, “I am so jelly you got to go there!” but really, I am just saying that. I am not feeling lonely or frustrated or angry by it. Seriously. Maybe I should quit claiming I am so “jelly.” Oops. What I should say is, “I am so happy you got to go there! It looks like a place I would like to visit someday.” Because I could probably swing some travel if I planned it out. But I don’t. So why be envious?
All that being said, there are definitely things I have seen and read on Facebook that I wish I could un-see/read. Like photos of dead animals. Really negative status updates. Mean status updates. I just hide those things and try to forget them. And Facebook does make me feel annoyed from time to time – which is a sign I need to log off. But where are the studies on how people use Facebook in a way that works for them? So they don’t feel envious/left out/like a loser/frustrated/annoyed?
*Are we to assume this study was only on people in these two German universities? I wonder how culture plays in.