Why Facebook Makes You Feel Bad About Yourself

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No surprise — those Facebook photos of your friends on vacation or celebrating a birthday party can make you feel lousy.

Facebook is supposed to envelope us in the warm embrace of our social network, and scanning friends’ pages is supposed to make us feel loved, supported and important (at least in the lives of those we like). But skimming through photos of friends’ life successes can trigger feelings of envy, misery and loneliness as well, according to researchers from two German universities. The scientists studied 600 people who logged time on the social network and discovered that one in three felt worse after visiting the site—especially if they viewed vacation photos. Facebook frequenters who spent time on the site without posting their own content were also more likely to feel dissatisfied.

(MORE: Why You’re More Likely to Remember A Facebook Status Than a Face)

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” study author Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University told Reuters. “From our observations some of these people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site.”

The most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was “lack of attention” from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.

The study authors note that both men and women feel pressure to portray themselves in the best light to their Facebook friends, but men are more likely to post more self-promotional content in their “About Me” and “Notes” sections than women, although women are more likely to stress their physical attractiveness and sociability.

(MORE: Who Wields The Most Influence On Facebook?)

The authors write [PDF]:

Overall, however, shared content does not have to be “explicitly boastful” for envy feelings to emerge. In fact, a lonely user might envy numerous birthday wishes his more sociable peer receives on his FB Wall. Equally, a friend’s change in the relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship” might cause emotional havoc for someone undergoing a painful breakup.

So far, it seems that the positive effects of being socially connected supersede the negative consequences of feeling inferior or left out by your circle of friends. But the authors suggest that if the hurtful feelings grow, Facebook and other social media may no longer be a fun way to stay connected with friends, but could become just another source of stress for people.

The research will be presented at an information system conference in Germany in February, called the 11th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik.

MORE: Pediatricians Should Discuss ‘Facebook Depression’ with Kids

203 comments
CompanyReviews
CompanyReviews

As far as Facebook and Sky Inc Nashville goes, I think I’ve blabbed on enough. One last place to look to see how you should be representing yourself, regardless if you are a company or an individual, is on this Sky Inc reviews from Nashville post on CareerBuilder. Again, don’t complain or whine, just present yourself better. That is all.

CompanyReviews
CompanyReviews

Okay so here’s another thing I’ve found out about Sky Inc Nashville at these reviews. They post a lot of business advice on their social media channels. This gives an even bigger impression of how this company markets themselves as the authority in their niche. I think we could all gain a little something from this. If you are on Facebook, don’t complain and whine first of all. Secondly, don’t pay too much attention to all of the great things that everyone else is doing. They have their struggles as well.

CompanyReviews
CompanyReviews

Another great place to read some reviews of Sky Inc Nashville is on their website. You can also watch a few of the reviews on Youtube. Check out the video that I’ve linked to on here and see what I meant in my previous comment.

CompanyReviews
CompanyReviews

I don’t know about you, but when people are on Facebook, they shouldn’t get too wrapped up in what other people are doing. In fact, if you look at Sky Inc Nashville’s profile on there, you would definitely want to work at that company. However, not very many people actually can. Read some of the reviews of Sky Inc and see what I mean. It takes hard work and they only publicize the rewards. Most people are lazy and don’t want to do the work. Lol.

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bruna.lake
bruna.lake

No doubt that facebook has a great significance in people's lives in these days. Post pictures and information has seemed increasingly a status signal and opulence, which ends up leaving some friends and followers upset. But really, we were surprised how people get upset and have a highly negative experience on facebook. What intrigues me a lot is that the relevance of the facts, for things that have a high importance, very sensitive issues such as the origin of the human race, or scientific research at all, are treated with little or no focus, but everyday topics as dining photos , pets, the famous selfies, all this has a high relevance and has a very large weight in the personal assessment of each person on facebook.

Lulu58
Lulu58

I joined facebook to find long lost relatives and after 18 + years of loss I found them But the friendship only lasted 3 weeks lol ! .. I deactivated my account indefinitely..

YuliyaWeber
YuliyaWeber

Facebook is nothing but mutual admiration society. You can't post any dislikes , which is completely retarded, and this whole thing of :"you look beautiful" or "you are such a nice couple" sometimes makes me want to puke. I guess Facebook is for people with low self confidence, and who are in constant need of encouragement. I am getting rid of my page, it is nothing but a waste of Time.

chilka
chilka

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lk123
lk123

My now ex friend would not stop posting pictures of my deceased daughter on facebook with comments about her death, how she's watching us all (not so says the BIBLE) and how much she is missed.. She does this constantly. I asked her to stop and she said "people grieve differently" Well she was my daughter (29 years old) so if I am asking you to stop you should, right? No, not her. She has to do her public grieving even though it upset me and my 20 year old daughter. I deleted my FB to solve the problem. Then I have my daughter calling me crying about Hope's constant facebook posting about Amanda. I get all mama bear, say some really mean things (some I meant some I did not) and a 34 year old friendship is destroyed.

MarkSampson
MarkSampson

Yes this is true I have noticed Facebook to cause me to be depressed.

 Here is what causes it...

1. Watching other's live amazing lives while you don't. People posting pictures of of them having great times lots of friends, great relationships. Traveling, buying cars etc... Really only reminds you of what's missing from your life if you're not in the same situation and let's face most people aren't 

2. Beautiful women go on rants about their BF. Women with no class blast out private messages men send them to intentionally publicly humiliate the men or their EXs. But of course no one calls them on it because everyone just kisses their A$$ because they are beautiful. And man basing is ok. It also ok be negative and bash men in general calling  them names. But if a man posts anything other than something positive, or call any woman on their BS he's blocked, unfriendly and chastised. It's Sexism against men at it's highest level! It's depressing to see women call all men "Dog", "Pigs", "A$$holes", etc...  Yet these idiots never take any responsibility for choosing these guys and go out and find another just like them. And instead of anyone pointing out that they need to take responsibility for who they attract into their life, people join in and blame men some more and label the woman a poor victim. As a man this is all depressing.


3. I stopped watching the news because it's all BS negativity, fear and they only focus on the .00001% of  the negative in the world and never on the good that happens. This give people a negative and fearful outlook. Now people feel the need to post all of this news crap in their timelines. 

4. Mutilated Animals. I'm over the Animal rights activists always posting abused animals. It;s happens get over it. I don't want to start my day that way. I can't do anything about it or adopt 40 dog and cats. I don't want to see it's depressing.



5. The sheer stupidity and ignorance and Arguments with idiots. It enough to anger and depress anyone!


6. The last element of depression is how much time you waste watching over people live. Go work out, go travel, get a hobby and use Facebook sparingly. 


Facebook is only fun if you're Dan Bilzerian or a Beautiful woman that has little to no responsibility that travels the world on a man's dime taking selfies alone the way. And most of them are Escorts, how else do you think they fly to Dubai, Paris, Monte Carlo and don't have a job?

There is good on facebook, like making new friends occasionally, connecting with people you have met in person. But it's also filled with mass rejection for men. Most of the attractive women won't even talk to you unless you have met them in person first. They add  men for marketing purposes but the never tell anyone that. 

Post more, read less, use it as a marketing tool, or to make new connections but limit usage to an hour a day and unfollow anyone or anything that you find upsets or depresses you.


Cynthia1985
Cynthia1985

@MarkSampson  Amen to that! I am a women and I feel sooooooooooooo much dissatisfaction with my life in comparison to all these "young" "vibrant" "beauties" that have a life that I can only dream about while I work my day to day gig! I find myself saying "don't be jealous, it's not their fault they have an amazing life!" I'm always comparing my life to other peoples and mine never seems to measure up! All in all I think Facebook is a negative for me! I would like to have enough self control to stick to viewing my close family and friends, but I can't help but notice one of their "pretty friends" and viewing there page and so on and so on.. After an hour of that (I know it's completely ridiculous) I feel like I need to change and enhance everything about me, better hair, cooler clothes, be more out going, go sky diving speak French know how to twerk, have a bigger butt, cool facial piercings more friends be a CEO of some cool company!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ect. ect. ect  I'm gonna go ahead and delete my page, this is def not healthy for my soul!

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MaryBullard
MaryBullard

I am beginning to wonder why I bother with Facebook I rarely get any likes and I certainly don't ever get any comments. The stuff I put on is as good as any thing else that goes on there but it's like my posts are more or less invisible. I will just have to see how it goes,in the next few months when everyone else is getting about nine or more comments and my posts are getting none I'm beginning to feel like an outsider,but then again perhaps I'm a it too sensitive.

Bette
Bette

@MaryBullard  My goodness, this happens to me too. I look at other people's posts and they get fifty likes and I say to myself, "50 likes for THAT!? Are you kidding me?". It makes me depressed too. A lot of it does. Everyone has these glamorous lives.

Just remind yourself. Facebook is really FAKEBOOK. People are exaggerating their jobs, their lifestyles x 100. Instead of showing off the family car, like the old days. It's showing off your facebook. And personally, I can't stand it.

dennyn
dennyn

I actually don't have a problem with Facebook. The one and only problem that I have with it is that people put the most stupid chit on there.

RedEyedXaXa
RedEyedXaXa

That's what some people do, People like me join groups like Senpai Anamai and The Emo Group and what not and meet friends online and troll, all this attention bullcrap is really starting to annoy me.

JananSmith
JananSmith

What if you put up nice videos from YT and nobody "likes " them?  Facebook can get people's feelings hurt. I don't know why I bother with it anymore. My home is what matters, not those fake friends on Facebook. They expect you to "like" all the stuff they put up, so they should "like" mine. I never put up offensive, annoying crap. I'm off of it for a month!

dennyn
dennyn

@JananSmith you just let them miss out on the cool or nice videos. and if they are real friends then they will. They don't have to "like" everything you post.

prestonmede
prestonmede

@JananSmith dude just because they dont like your stuff doesnt mean anything! If they expect you to like their stuff then dont. you can delete those people. The only friends you should worry about is the ones you hang out with

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eljakeo30
eljakeo30

Anyone think that there are a few people on this thread that are actually the same person purposely creating drama because that is their style of bullying? To go after people they think who are insecure. When of course they are the ones who are. I think the most secure people are the ones that can admit when they are insecure. And with FB, that would be me! Because I am like WTF?  In real life, it's much better as I know who I am a bit better. FB, lately at least puts me in a place I don't want to go.

You think they even care about FB? Nope. They are just having fun, troll-like, with the comment section because they are looking for a ruse.  Kind of funny watching two people with the same personalities agree with each other as if they are the same person!  hahahaha ;)

I agree with the studies.  FB is not how it was like a few years ago. It's a competition of likes and "Me-ism".  It can be great for family, close friends, and people with close interests, but for many others, it is a narcissists paradise!  LOL

JananSmith
JananSmith

@ervinee I feel like I'm invisible. I don't know why I bother with those people. They put up obnoxious political posts and I put up nice pleasant videos and never get  a "like". I have put too much effort into nothing. All the obnoxious people post those raunchy office parties and get  a zillion likes. Maybe I'm too nice , because I thought they would enjoy my nice pleasant videos. They are begging me to "like" their stuff. I'm taking time off the Facebook. Only my cousin likes me. The best thing to do, is to take time off from Facebook. Make them wonder where you are. My real friends are on YT anyway.

SusanBrownNeal
SusanBrownNeal

@JananSmith @ervinee  I know  what you mean. I have a few really true friends on  Fb but the rest seem to have their on little circle that they seem to really like. What is really annoying is I can post something on fb and I get no likes or comments, but someone else can post the same thing and they will get 40 comments and likes. Facebook is mostly about a Buddy system and how popular you are, not about all the nice post you put on there People just mostly in to themselves and their buddies and as long as they have that on Fb they don't care about anyone else. So sad but it's true. I wish Fb didn't exist. The only reason I'm still on  is I actually have a few true blue friends on my friend list. I have even gone as far as telling people how I feel but they still ignore me. SMH!



spiraldivedude
spiraldivedude

If someone's posts (like mine) on facebook makes someone else feel bad about their sad lives, there is only one reason why & only one person to blame... because LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. I post on facebook what makes me tick, what I am passionate about & what inspires me. Certain negatively minded people have deleted me over this, whilst they are posting pictures of their tea & talking about exactly the same things as 20 years ago as if they haven't progressed at all in their lives (not that it is any bother to me). People should take some personal responsibility & find something in life to be passionate about. Learn to skydive or paraglide. Visit a foreign country & learn about their culture, climb a mountain, spend all day exploring in the wilds. Get a new hobby & make it your lifestyle. It doesnt matter what it is, it can be anything. Maybe then these people would stop being so miserable about making an existence in their lives & start making a living in their lives. In modern society, with all its television based celebrity hero worship, it is very easy to be negative. It is also contagious. To be positive, takes a little more effort, but it is just as contagious. Every time I log onto facebook it reminds me how good my life is. Life is short, make the most of it whilst you can, please come back when they've got one. 


Blue skies.

feher.martina
feher.martina

Are you serious?? "Visit a foreign country" or "learn to sky dive or paraglide"? In whose universe, blue skies?? Have you ever thought that maybe the reason some people don't like your constant updates on the awesome life you're living is because THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO DO THOSE THINGS?! Hello!!

angieprice2003
angieprice2003

@feher.martina  Or maybe they have an illness that prevents them from enjoying these things.  You hit the proverbial nail on the head Martina. Not everyone has the means to do the things in life they would like to do.  It would be nice if people wouldn't make assumptions that everyone can just do these things. 

leebridgitt
leebridgitt

This website is making me feel worse each day I go on. I cut back on it tremendously. I think it is incredibly sad that you can have people who bullied you or worse ignored you outright sending you requests. I did not like you then, and guess what? Feelings remain unchanged. I prefer face to face, or even just the phone now.

adhe1
adhe1

@leebridgitt same here, Lee. Funny how so many people who picked on me and/or flat out treated me like I was garbage/nonexistent in school are trying to be my "friend" on fb. seriously!?

JananSmith
JananSmith

@leebridgitt  I'm going to leave Facebook for a month. I know how you feel, because somebody from high school , found me on Facebook and started to bully me in messages. People not even friended yet, can write. I blocked them , then they came back to bully me under a different name. I normally live in KS but moved to CA for a little while. None of my real friends from KS are on Facebook. only people from college and people that showed up out of nowhere. I want to leave the whole situation and meet real life people in person, in the town I moved to. Most people on FB I have never met yet. Well now I don't really want to meet them, because I want reality back again.

robfra5074
robfra5074

When I left Facebook last year (almost been a year now) I had realized how unhappy I was, feeling depressed, not really having a real life because I was using Facebook and felt connected, in reality I was not. I won't judge Facebook though for me I enjoy the human connections much more in person than on Facebook. The best social media is always at the dinner table, and when I have seen people actually text at the dinner table rather than talk.......saddens me more to see the human element has been replaced by tech devices and the internet.

JananSmith
JananSmith

@robfra5074   The dinner table rules. :)  I lost connect with reality because of Facebook. Also didn't tend to my health either. True, everything is so tech now, not enough human contact.

meekahshine
meekahshine

Facebook has become pretty lame.  Its more about hey look at me than actually wanting to connect with friends.  Its a shame really.  You get adds from people who dont keep in touch with you.   It's just a legal way to stalk people.  Pretty pathetic.  

JananSmith
JananSmith

@meekahshine   I couldn't take all the bragging people anymore. It's a place for the show offs. They actually had the gal to ask me to "like" their posts, but I put up some nice things and they never "like" them except my cousin. I don't need them anyway.

valerielaperre98
valerielaperre98

i think facebook is not to blame because I think Facebook is not to blame because it is good to follow your friends and family members on your Facebook account. I think you should always have a Facebook account on your hand and you should at least have good manners and not bad manner when using Facebook

crisld2011
crisld2011

Facebook can make you feel depressed or not, depends on you and the way you see life. Anybody is free of bad feelings. In the same way, everybody is able to feel happy for others people achievements. Besides, facebook gives you an opportunity to keep in touch with people how are important to you, which it is great!

peipei
peipei

Peiya Xu 

Why Facebook makes you feel bad about yourself

After I read the article, I real feel that sometimes the social connection tools make people's relationship worsen. For example, some people would think that they always like their friends' pics but their friend never pay attention about their pic, even if one time. Like the author wrote that " If the hurtful feeling grow, FB or other social media may no longer be a fun way to stay connected with your friend. " just don't open them. We can use reading to instead of watching FB website.

blazingblackness
blazingblackness

I just quit Facebook after having it for about four years. I found myself mindlessly logging in and not realizing until a few minutes after scrolling through my news feed and seeing the same stuff I had seen an hour ago! On top of the fact that I have family that were on my friends list but we never talked other than commenting on pics and status updates. If we cant talk in real life then why bother on Facebook?

sallyatwater4
sallyatwater4

This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. You feel worse because you see photos of other people having fun? Seems like you would feel worse sooner or later if that's the kind of person you are. How about we focus on the good. Isn't it great that we live in a time where I can actually see my little niece and nephew who live 3,000 miles away grow up right before my eyes.  Or we can celebrate others success? Get over it. 

Desertgirl
Desertgirl

See your niece grow up right before your eyes? And you need social media to facilitate that?. My sister shares pics with me that she doesn't share on Facebook, it feels more special when it's not for the whole world to see. Facebook is the lazy (impersonal) way to connect with family and friends. It just doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies to see family pics on a constructed website built to make money for its creator. And what's with these ads and suggested posts now, just seems a tad creepy.