• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

It's official: Facebook makes you miserable

The Local · 21 Jan 2013, 15:41

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.

Story continues below…

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
Govt argues over using army inside Germany
Photo: DPA

After a string of violent rampages in one week, an argument has broken out in Germany’s coalition government over whether the army (Bundeswehr) should be deployed inside the country.

Analysis
How Merkel reacts to crises better than other leaders
Photo: DPA

It is of critical importance for a country how a leader chooses to react to an act of terrorism. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cool head sets an example for the rest of the country.

Turkey demands Germany extradite Gülen supporters
Fethullah Gülen. Photo: DPA

Ankara called on Germany on Thursday to extradite supporters of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of plotting a failed coup earlier this month.

German police raid 'hotbed of radicalization'
Police entering one of the residences. Photo: DPA

A mosque and eight residences were searched.

Germany boasts Europe's best value beaches
This beach just got named Europe's cheapest. Do you know where it is? Photo: DPA

Forget Mallorca or the Costa del Sol - the best beach bargains can be found in Germany. But where?

After rampages, Merkel says again: Wir schaffen das
Photo: DPA

Speaking for the first time after a Syrian refugee blew himself up in southern Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her commitment to helping refugees on Thursday.

The Local List
Germany's five most mind-boggling conspiracy theories
What's the point of this mysterious tower at Tempelhof Airport? Photo: DPA.

Think that wacky paranoid types only exist in the USA? Here’s a few crazy German conspiracies to prove you wrong.

Munich shooting
Gunman's friend arrested for 'planning school attack'
File photo: DPA

Police found chemicals and instructions for making explosives, as well as evacuation plans of his school in the youth's possession.

Bremen mall evacuated due to escaped psychiatric patient
Police outside the mall. Photo: DPA

The man had reportedly made worrying statements relating to Isis and last week's shooting in Munich.

German ambassador to Turkey left out in cold
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

The Turkish government has been giving German ambassador Martin Erdmann the cold shoulder for weeks, after German parliamentarians passed a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,746
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd