Have you ever logged onto Facebook and thought, oh no, another vacation to Hawaii? Yep, it’s the woman who just got the promotion at work who has the perfect husband and baby and now she is taking her sixth trip to Hawaii in three years. Sigh. It all sounds so exhausting, especially when comparing yourself to others, who may or may not be giving you the full truth. Actually, it may be downright depressing.
At least that’s what the experts at the University of Missouri found. In a recent study that polled 736 college students who used Facebook for an average of two hours a day, many reported feelings of envy after seeing their friends’ virtual lives. The fascinating part is that researchers found that it isn’t the heavy use of social media that spurs these feelings, it’s the frequent use. HuffPost cites this about the study: “The researchers found that while heavy Facebook use was not linked directly to depression, frequent users who experienced feelings of envy were more likely to identify with statements corresponding to depression. These tended to be users who compared their own lives to friends’ photos of luxurious vacations, status updates about good news and so on.”
Envy is one thing. Depression is another entirely. Yet as cited by the study’s co-author, users must remember that people often only post positive things about themselves on their social media accounts. It’s all about the presentation, and the presentation may be farther from the truth. It’s best to examine your own life and realize that no one is perfect, and perhaps maybe you are also presenting yourself as “too good to be true” on Facebook. Either way, social media is often a façade, and nothing beats real-life interaction and friendships. For more information on this study, please visit the article on huffingtonpost.