Now – it is essential that you are totally honest with me. Promise! So, tell me – do the Facebook photos of your friends’ holidays and ‘fabulous’ social gatherings make you feel a little down or de-energised? Does the talk of restaurants and over-achieving children ever make you feel jealous?
Well, if your answer is yes – then you are not alone. A study conducted by two German universities, entitled Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction?, found that envy is alive and well on Facebook. According to the research, 1/3 of Facebook users felt worse after visiting the site and more dissatisfied with their lives. And it is holiday snaps and social interaction (comparisons of birthday greetings and likes) that cause the most resentment.
And while the report acknowledges the powerful role Facebook plays in helping its one billion users stay in touch with ‘friends’, the researchers also comment that Facebook produces a ‘basis for social comparison and envy on an unprecedented scale’.
So, if Facebook is making you feel a little flat, here are a few tips that might help you to perk up:
- No-one has a perfect life. If they say they do, they’re lying!
- Your Facebook friends will usually only share the good times. The hard times are almost always kept private.
- Take a break from Facebook
- Ask yourself ‘Why Am I envious?’ This may spur you to action a project or course that you have been delaying.
- Review your Facebook friends. Perhaps delete those that make you feel the worst.
- Strike Back – Inject some positivity into your life. Smile and be grateful for the good things. Share photos of yourself smiling when you are out and about!
But perhaps the best remedy of all is to turn off your computer, pick up the phone and book in some ‘catch-ups’ with real friends!