• Germany's news in English
 

It's official: Facebook makes you miserable

Published: 21 Jan 2013 15:41 GMT+01:00

Over a third of Facebookers asked by IT experts at the Berlin Humboldt University and the Darmstadt Technical University said they felt worse after visiting the site than they did beforehand.

Jealousy appeared to be to blame for the bitter taste that Facebook seemed to be leaving in users' mouths. Photos of other people enjoying fancy holidays were most to blame for leaving Germans green-eyed and frustrated, the study said.

The idea of online networks bombarding users with pictures of everyone else's fabulous lives is one that will be familiar to most people who ever looked at other people's profiles.

But study leader Hanna Krasnova from the Humboldt said her team had now scientifically demonstrated that online networks provided “access to lots of positive news and profiles from successful “friends” that trigger jealousy.”

And those who cruise around just looking rather than taking part were likely to feel worst. Of the 600 people who were evaluated for the study, those who browsed Facebook without contributing were more likely to feel bad afterwards, Krasnova found.

Her research also suggested using Facebook decreased users' general satisfaction with life.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:32 January 21, 2013 by pjnt
I hate facebook. Signing up was a colossal mistake, not for the reasons listed here but because it is a time leach and advertising Juggernaut.

So many other things in life which have a much higher priority.
16:43 January 21, 2013 by iseedaftpeople
> "Using Facebook can trigger feelings of jealousy and dissatisfaction, German academics said on Monday after studying how the social network affects emotions."

My first thought was, of course it must make those boffins jealous when they see pictures of other people on Facebook who evidently have a life, which they apparently don't...
16:57 January 21, 2013 by AClassicRed
As a psychology major anyway, I'd like to view the results of this study, as well as their methodology, as I'd find it very interesting indeed. I am not a very active Facebooker, but use it primarily for advertisement for one of my businesses.

Even I do take the time to browse, I don't become dissatisfied with my life or anything, by looking at others. Not even close, and that wouldn't occur to me. I do however, find I can be more easily irritated with the amount of self-serving, humble/brag comments, or the higher numbers of pages, groups, etc. that are active protesting, demonstating, downing people, places or things, etc., encouraging you to do the same.

Seems a lot of angry people who choose to vent their dissatisfaction there, and I always felt they "rub" it off on others in a variety of ways and behaviors. And so a study shows. Plus you always have those hiding behind a screen to do their cyber deviltry, as it were.
17:31 January 21, 2013 by raandy
I took myself off that site 3 months after I started, way to much personell information out there, you ,your family, your friends, ect and after I was dropped, I still got facebook messages saying do you know this person? they were in my phots, then they would say join facebook and send them a message. This seems a bit invasive to me.
17:34 January 21, 2013 by yllusion
@AClassicRed If you were tormented by Facebook I would question your psychology skills :-)

But I agree with your point. Facebook is time consuming and an enhancer/triggerer of personal issues. It amplifies futility and narcisism.
18:12 January 21, 2013 by catjones
One billion users. Don't extrapolate a few german students or 'suggested' conclusions onto the population. Their so-called study didn't 'scientifically demonstrated' anything.
19:18 January 21, 2013 by goddess
Does the lives of every person in Germany suck so badly that viewing pictures of other people's lives trigger jealous? Easy solution, go out and create a life that doesn't suck and maybe even post about it on social media.
20:08 January 21, 2013 by Bigfoot76
Viewing the posts of users on thelocal.de can have the same effect.
20:32 January 21, 2013 by Dalmation
You beat me to it @Bigfoot76

I was going to say 'It's official: TheLocal makes me miserable.
08:41 January 22, 2013 by hankeat
The study is just jealous how successful Facebook is, as in Germany they don't have any successful website. Haven't you all realised that all of the reports in Germany about American websites and IT are negative? So far they haven't praised any American website, although they keep copying them.
11:13 January 22, 2013 by LancashireLad
This study only proves that in Germany, the opposite of Schadenfreude also exists with the same fervour. It will only carry any meaning when it is also carried out in many countries around the world not just in Germany and I can guarantee that it would then completely refute these findings.
13:08 January 22, 2013 by Redwing
What a whole lot of rubbish.
13:51 January 22, 2013 by ichbines
Hmm...in a country where no one must walk the street hungry and homeless. sad.

Some people find every reason they can to be unhappy.

I agree, different countries would certainly yield different results.
04:42 January 23, 2013 by Twin B
As LancashireLad said, Freudenschade!
20:41 January 23, 2013 by abigail2011
Feelings of jealousy and dissatisfaction? That's normal here and doesn't require Facebook, at least as far as I can tell.

If I have a bit more or earn a bit more than someone else, then the other person feels jealous, dissatisfied and cheated, and he or she thinks the government should take what I have away. People here also eagerly join in the national pastime - complaining.

I am no fan of Facebook, but give me a break. Jealousy and dissatisfaction are ways of life here.
23:34 February 6, 2013 by Beachrider
In the USA, Jon Stewart's Daily Show bumper-stickered it as being a German grouchiness issue. It got a big laugh...
Today's headlines
Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims
Photo: DPA

Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims

Belgium and the Netherlands have launched probes into claims of widespread espionage by Germany, which is accused of helping the US spy on Berlin's closest allies in Europe, officials said Friday. READ  

German women have World Cup in their sights
Germany are among the favourites. Photo: DPA archive

German women have World Cup in their sights

After getting their hands on the world cup in 2003 and 2007, the German women’s national team are trying to make it three out of the last four this summer in Canada. READ  

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'
"I don't need to justify it because it's in the Bible". Photo: DPA

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'

A head teacher at a state school in Munich is attempting to introduce a strict Christian regime by hanging crosses in the classroom and holding daily prayers. He's within the law, but parents and pupils are beginning to resist. READ  

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic
Stock image of baby ducks running. Photo: DPA.

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic

Police officers and a fire fighter crane were called in to rescue five orphaned baby ducks on Friday, stopping autobahn traffic briefly to escort them to safety. READ  

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan
The region of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Photo: DPA

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan

An employee of the German International Development Agency (GIZ) has been released from captivity in northern Afghanistan after being taken prisoner by the Taliban six weeks ago. READ  

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet
Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron presented a newly united front at a Berlin press conference on Friday, after their first meeting where the UK premier set out his demands for reform of the European Union. READ  

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’
Photo: DPA

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) have told the BBC that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be disastrous for both countries. READ  

At last, Germany has a new Top Model
Vanessa is over the moon. Photo:DPA

At last, Germany has a new Top Model

Everyone can breath easily again. Despite a delay of two weeks due to a bomb threat, Heidi Klum has finally been able to choose Germany’s next top model - a 19-year-old from her own home town. READ  

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football
Steinmeier had harsh words for FIFA. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football

Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that if world football can't clear up "poisonous" corruption, state bodies need to step in, amid a graft scandal engulfing governing body FIFA. READ  

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden
G7 finance ministers in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden

Debt-wracked Greece's battle to hammer out a deal with its creditors dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Dresden on Thursday, with officials insisting much work still lay ahead. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,769
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd