Get Some Perspective on Facebook
Of course you love your friends—but maybe just a little bit less when they’re cruising the Adriatic without you. Researchers at the IE Business School, in Madrid, found that Facebook can make you feel bad about yourself, even if you’re not conscious of it. People in the study who had large friend networks tended to evaluate their lives more negatively right after they spent time on the site, as opposed to people who hadn’t recently logged on. “It’s natural to compare our lives with those of others, but people tend to post disproportionately positive updates and neglect the not-so-glamorous aspects of their lives on Facebook,” says study leader Dilney Goncalves, Ph.D., an assistant professor of marketing at IE Business School. Also, the more friends you have, the more of those impossibly perfect updates you’ll probably see. So as a reality check, tell yourself that everyone has problems and that you may be overestimating how happy other people truly are. Goncalves says that this simple reminder can help eliminate the negative effects that Facebook may have on life satisfaction.