A new study out of Germany found that one in three people felt more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook.
The researchers say that people are envious of their “friends” leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry. They say Facebook is an unprecedented way to compare your life to other people’s lives.
They said people often leave or reduce their use of the site. (I wonder if that makes them feel better or once the seed is planted, it’s there?)
“Researchers from Humboldt University and from Darmstadt’s Technical University found vacation photos were the biggest cause of resentment with more than half of envy incidents triggered by holiday snaps on Facebook.
Social interaction was the second most common cause of envy as users could compare how many birthday greetings they received to those of their Facebook friends and how many “likes” or comments were made on photos and postings.
“Passive following triggers invidious emotions, with users mainly envying happiness of others, the way others spend their vacations and socialize,” the researchers said in the report “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction?” released on Tuesday.”
The researchers found that people in their 30s envied familial happiness. Women focused on physical attractiveness and social interaction while men focused on accomplishments.
I never really thought I was envious of my “friends” on Facebook (OK I was a little jealous of my elementary school friend who took a fantastic trip to Europe with her new boyfriend) but I have definitely felt like other people seemed happier than me on Facebook. It seems like other people’s families are always doing fun things, and we’re always working (school work, business work, house work). I also think from Facebook that my other mom “friends” get out more than I do.
I think it would be easier for me to drop Facebook if I didn’t live so far away from all my friends and family. I do have friends that take “breaks” from Facebook but I think that would be really hard for me to do since I don’t have the option of seeing my friends in person.
Do you think you are envious of your friends on Facebook? Do you think other people are more attractive, more accomplished, or having more fun than you? Are you jealous of “friends’ ” vacations? Do you take breaks from Facebook?