Beware! Facebook Usage Makes You Sad – Reveals a Study

Facebook LogoIf you want to be happy in life, delete your Facebook account right now and cheer yourself up reveals a study.

According to the study by Utah Valley University, the more the people use the hugely popular social networking website Facebook, the more they will believe that others are much happier.

The study found that the carefully-chosen pictures of smiling, cheerful faces which Facebook users tend to plaster over their pages cumulatively convey a debilitating message to others.

While logging into Facebook account many times a day in office or at home may have turned an irresistible habit for a lot of people, particularly the young.

[advt]Sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge interviewed 425 undergraduate students about their happiness and that of their friends as the part of the study. Participants were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with statements such as ‘Life is fair’ and ‘Many of my friends have a better life than me’.

They then described their Facebook activity including their number of ‘friends’ and the proportion whom they actually knew. Ninety-five percent used Facebook, and on average they had been there for two and a half years and spent nearly five hours a week on it.

After allowing for gender, religiosity and whether people were single or attached, the study found that ‘the more hours people spent on Facebook, the stronger was their agreement that others were happier’. This was particularly true of Facebook users who stockpiled ‘friends’ they did not actually know.

Those who had used Facebook for longer were also ‘significantly’ likely to agree with the statement that  ‘life is unfair’.

Ms Chou argues that this Facebook-related dissatisfaction is the result of a common psychological process known as ‘correspondence bias‘, in which we draw false conclusions about people based on limited knowledge.

According to Ms Chou, ‘looking at happy pictures of others on Facebook gives people an impression that others are “always” happy and having good lives’.

While Facebook users will know that their real friends have ups and downs in their lives, all they have to go on with their fake Facebook ‘friends’ is a smiling picture.

When that distorting effect is multiplied by the hundreds of Facebook friends that people don’t actually know, it is easy to see how bitterness can fester, said the study.

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