Don’t let Facebook make you jealous
The other man’s grass is always greener.
And the other man’s Facebook page frequently leaves visitors green with envy, according to German researchers who recently released a study entitled “Envy on Facebook: A hidden threat to users’ life satisfaction?”
Social scientists at Berlin’s Humboldt University and Darmstadt’s Technical University document a reduced “sense of personal happiness” among many people who see Facebook-posted images and written accounts of other folks’ fun vacations, heartwarming family moments and even exciting nights out on the town.
A majority of the 357 people surveyed, predominately German university students, even said they felt jealous when viewing Facebook pages that have drawn more “likes” than their own.
The researchers wrote: “Our findings signal that users frequently perceive Facebook as a stressful environment, which may, in the long run, endanger platform sustainability.”
Behold another troubling side-effect from the strange new world of social media. In that often-illusory cyber realm, a Notre Dame football star was a dupe and/or duper in the fabrication of a story about a girlfriend who died, when in reality she did not exist.
And that’s only one of countless instances in which a wide range of misinformation and hoaxes spread through assorted personal websites at staggering speed. Thus, a technological advance in self-expression fuels widespread diminishment of self-esteem.
Of course, there’s nothing new about wondering why somebody else seems to have it better than you — on or off the Internet.
But just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a person’s “life satisfaction” by a Facebook page — including your own.