• Germany's news in English

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
Hitler's words to return to German bookshelves
An autographed copy of Mein Kampf at the Nazi documentation centre in Nuremberg. Photo: DPA

Hitler's words to return to German bookshelves

2 minutes ago

For the first time since the Second World War, Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" will be printed in Germany in January as an annotated edition, the institute publishing it said Tuesday.

Dortmund zoo suffers second mystery death
Humboldt penguins in their enclosure at Dortmund zoo. Photo: DPA

Dortmund zoo suffers second mystery death

59 minutes ago

Dortmund zoo has suffered the second mysterious death of an animal within just a few weeks, as a penguin was found dead soon after the suspected killing of a sea lion.

Germany can't legislate hate out of existence
A police officer clashes with protesters carrying a banner at a Pegida demo in Munich in November. Photo: DPA

Germany can't legislate hate out of existence

4 hours ago

Recent experience with movements like the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Pegida have shown that German and other European countries have failed to end racism by act of parliament. The way Europe deals with hate speech needs to change, argues Tom Barfield.

Muslim leader calls for limit on refugee numbers
A temporary refugee home in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Muslim leader calls for limit on refugee numbers

4 hours ago

The head of Germany's largest Muslim organization has called for a limit on the number of refugees Germany takes in, saying the country can give little more.

Berlin named Germany's best city for students
Two students sit beneath the statue of Alexander von Humboldt outside the Humboldt University on Unter den Linden. Photo: DPA

Berlin named Germany's best city for students

5 hours ago

Berlin has been named the best city in Germany for students in 2016, leaping up a global ranking in the last 12 months to overtake Munich.

Athletes devastated by Olympics rejection
A protest against Hamburg's Olypmic bid. Photo: DPA

Athletes devastated by Olympics rejection

7 hours ago

Germany's Olympic sports stars have reacted with widespread dismay and disappointment in the wake of Hamburg residents' decision to vote 'No' to a bid to host the 2024 Summer Games.

Germans fear terrorism if army fights in Syria
Bundeswehr Tornadoes refuelling. Photo: DPA

Germans fear terrorism if army fights in Syria

8 hours ago

A large majority of the German public fears a terror backlash due to Germany supporting France in its military campaign against Isis.

Second wolf found dead in southern Germany
The dead wolf found in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

Second wolf found dead in southern Germany

22 hours ago

A wolf has been found dead near a motorway in Baden-Württemberg - the second time in recent months one of the rare predators has been found dead in the southern state.

Alternative Advent calendar puts fitness first
The 24-day series kicks off on December 1st. Image: promo

Alternative Advent calendar puts fitness first

1 day ago

Worried about staying slim this festive season? It might be time to ditch the chocolate calendar and open up YouTube - because a pair of German fitness coaches have come up with the perfect route to a "guilt-free" Christmas.

Storms and borders stem refugee flow to Germany
Refugees arrive in Germany in the snow. Photo: DPA

Storms and borders stem refugee flow to Germany

1 day ago

The number of refugees arriving in Germany has fallen off sharply in the past few days, with police reporting half the number of new arrivals this weekend compared with last.

Berlin best city in Germany for students, 9th worldwide
Second wolf found dead in Baden-Württemberg
Conservatives revive calls for burqa ban
Merkel's plea for a worldwide climate deal
Grandpa's last resort shocks in supermarket Christmas ad
1,200 German troops to aid France in battle against Isis
The 10 best places to ski in Germany this winter
German arms trader questioned over rifles used by Paris terrorists
Man snapped with Auschwitz tattoo at swimming pool
The ancient story of Cologne's murderous Roman mother
60,000 Germans want Google to forget something about them
Survey finds that North Germans are the happiest
Judges order teacher to pay fine after he painted over swastikas
Five ways to celebrate Advent like the Germans
Germany's goodbye to former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
Top department store ends ban on Israeli settlement wine
Stasi HQ in Berlin becomes refugee shelter
Germany's 10 most-expensive cities
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd