Facebook Causes Envy & Depression.

by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM, ME, EMT

FIRST, HERE ARE SOME FACTS FROM THE JOURNAL CYBER-PSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR, & SOCIAL NETWORKING (citation below):
• Those who post on Facebook typically tend to show only the good things going on in their lives
• Posters on Facebook tend to inflate the ‘goodness’ of things going on in their lives
• Readers on Facebook tend to read about others ‘great lives’ and feel envious, which in turn leads to depression—this envy is unwarranted, however, because Facebook personas are one-sided.  This effect is greater when a reader has Facebook friends who he doesn’t know well or doesn’t hang out with often.
• All users who spend more time on Facebook reading others’ posts, making comments, liking posts, and checking to see if others commented or liked their posts are more envious and depressed than those who use Facebook less, or who do not participate in these activities as much.

Source: Chou, H. G. & Edge, N. (2012). “They are happier and having better lives than I am: the impact of using Facebook on perceptions of others’ lives”, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking, 15(2), 117-124.

SECOND, AS SOMEONE WITH A PhD IN PSYCHOLOGY, HERE ARE SOME OF MY SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS:

• Spend less time on Facebook, and turn off email and text message notifications
• Do not log on to Facebook when you are feeling sad, depressed, or lonely.
• When you ARE on Facebook, do not spend a lot of time reading the posts of others—the more posts you read of others in your newsfeed, the more envious and depressed you are liable to become.
• If you do read the posts of others, do NOT presume that just because they post happy pictures of themselves doing fun things, surrounded by smiling people, that they are happier and live better than you.  A picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, you don’t have a complete picture at all.

REMEMBER THIS: EVERYONE has problems.  No one is completely happy.  And in my opinion, Facebook is the tabloid for the masses: do not believe anything you read or see: everyone is merely trying to market themselves as better and more successful than they really are.  Even me, when I had a Facebook account! 🙂

Bottom line: live in the real world; not in the world of “FAKEbook”.

–Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq

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