Pi Attitude Zone: Connectivity & Drive

Social Media And Envy

The movie The Social Network can be read as a catalog of friendships destroyed and moods poisoned.  Since the film chronicles the invention and subsequent global spread of Facebook, Pi is forced to ask if there is an inherent link between networking socially on the internet and feeling awful.

Now some solid research evidence has appeared to support that view.  According to a study published by The Public Library of Science, passing more time on Facebook means experiencing less satisfaction with life.

Previous one-off studies had already established a correlation between visiting Facebook and feeling tense, isolated, jealous and depressed. But is the problem progressive?  And do social media actually cause those nasty moods, or just attract people who were prone to them anyway?

New research into the habits and moods of teens-and-twenties have now confirmed that social media activity is indeed a root cause of the problem.  By getting respondents to record their thoughts, moods and feeling before and after Facebook visits (and at the beginning and the end of the whole study), the researchers confidently pronounced that frequent Facebook visitors showed an absolute decline in their satisfaction with life, a decline steeper than that suffered by infrequent users.

An unrelated but relevant survey conducted by Humboldt and Darmstadt Universities revealed another depressing finding: that the most common emotion aroused by Facebook use is envy.  The reason is not hard to figure out: Facebookers are incessantly comparing themselves to other users, probably without knowing the extent to which their peers have been photo-shopping their photos, exaggerating their brag-sheets and fibbing about their exploits. 

Pi says: please don’t click the Facebook link at the bottom of this page.  It will only make you miserable.

Zone: Connectivity & Drive Country: Multiple Geographies Product – Communications