If spending a few minutes browsing Facebook leaves you feeling vaguely dissatisfied, you’re not alone.
A new study found one in three people leave the site feeling worse than they felt before logging on.
Researchers looked at the social networking behaviors, and subsequent emotional reactions, of 600 people and noted negative reactions revolved around an experience of envy “leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry.”
Viewing other people’s successful professional and romantic lives triggered negative responses, as did direct comparisons of on-site social activity (including “likes” and wall posts left by others).
“Viewing other people’s successful professional
and romantic lives triggered negative responses.”
Individuals also reported feeling envy when viewing other people’s vacation pictures, which accounted for more than half of all negative social networking reactions.
The study found individuals who browse Facebook without contributing are most likely to feel the site’s potentially negative effects.
The study’s authors reported:
“Passive following triggers invidious emotions, with users mainly envying happiness of others, the way others spend their vacations and socialize.”
Researchers found the primary sources of envy on Facebook depended a lot on the depressed user’s gender, with men experiencing greater frustration over their “friends” career accomplishments and women feeling greater negative emotions surrounding other people’s looks and social experiences.
Source: Humboldt University and Darmstadt’s Technical University. Photo source: digitaltrends.com.