New research suggests that the more you use the social networking site Facebook, the more you believe that others are happier than you
If you’re feeling a bit down, don’t check Facebook. A new study has found that the more hours people spend on the social media site looking through friends photos, the more they feel like others have more fun.
The Utah Valley University study found that pictures of friends smiling and laughing uploaded onto the site convey a debilitating message to others.
Scientists found 95 per cent of the 425 participants use Facebook for an average of five hours a week.
‘Looking at happy pictures on Facebook gives people the impression that others are always happy and having good lives,’ says study leader Hui-Tzu Grace Chou.
While Facebook users are aware that their friends will have ups and downs, their Facebook profiles only show pictures of the happy times, distorting users perceptions of their own lives.
Ms Chou argues that this Facebook-related dissatisfaction is the result of a psychological process known as correspondence bias, where we draw false conclusions about people based on limited knowledge.
When this distorting effect is multiplied by having hundreds of Facebook friends, many of which are just associates, it is easy to see how bitterness can fester, she explans.
The study, published in journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking, found that people who spent real time with their friends, were less likely to feel like they had being given a bad hand in life.