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It's official: Facebook makes you miserable
Photo: DPA

It's official: Facebook makes you miserable

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

Using Facebook can trigger feelings of jealousy and dissatisfaction, German academics said on Monday after studying how the social network affects emotions.

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)

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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...
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