Last year, a pair of studies showed that heavy Facebook users have more grey matter in their brains and are subject to a condition known as Facebook Depression. A new study from Utah Valley University suggests heavy users of Facebook may also share another trait: low self-esteem.
The study surveyed 425 college students about their use of social networking use, in addition to questions about how they spent their time socializing offline. Students who spent the most time on Facebook were the most likely to agree with the statement that others had better lives than they did. Those who were more likely to friend people on Facebook they did not personally know were the most likely to believe that others were happier than they were. The study doesn't single out Facebook as the cause of low self-esteem — it could simply mean that people with low self-esteem are more likely to friend strangers than those with happy and healthy offline lives.
Logically, the study makes a lot of sense. When you're constantly bombarded with pictures from friends' vacations, news of new relationships, and videos of last weekend's party, it's easy to feel that others are leading busier and more enjoyable lives than you are. Especially when negative aspects of peoples' lives such as loneliness, sadness, and failure are often minimized or unshared.
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