Posts Tagged ‘Life Satisfaction’

Using Facebook undermines well-being

August 18, 2013

The Facebook phenomenon continues with more studies and some idiot “research”. But the phenomenon is real. Narcissism is on the rise, circles of acquaintances are apparently getting very wide, perceptions of having many friends way beyond the Dunbar Number is increasing, anonymous bullying has found a new medium to exploit and we know more useless things about more people than ever before. We believe we are “in communication” with many people but that may just be an illusion.

Another “study” addresses “whether Facebook use influences subjective well-being over time is unknown. We addressed this issue using experience-sampling, the most reliable method for measuring in-vivo behavior and psychological experience. We text-messaged people five times per day for two-weeks to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives”.

Kross E, Verduyn P, Demiralp E, Park J, Lee DS, et al. (2013) Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults. PLoS ONE 8(8): e69841. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069841

AbstractOver 500 million people interact daily with Facebook. Yet, whether Facebook use influences subjective well-being over time is unknown. We addressed this issue using experience-sampling, the most reliable method for measuring in-vivo behavior and psychological experience. We text-messaged people five times per day for two-weeks to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives. Our results indicate that Facebook use predicts negative shifts on both of these variables over time. The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time we text-messaged them; the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Interacting with other people “directly” did not predict these negative outcomes. They were also not moderated by the size of people’s Facebook networks, their perceived supportiveness, motivation for using Facebook, gender, loneliness, self-esteem, or depression. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.

Facebook well being doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069841.g001

Facebook well being doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069841.g001

Figure 1. Facebook use predicts declines in affect and life satisfaction over time.

Interacting with Facebook during one time period (Time1–2) leads people to feel worse later on during the same day (T2) controlling for how they felt initially (T1);  Average Facebook use over the course of the 14-day experience-sampling period predicts decreases in life satisfaction over time.

The more participants used Facebook, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time, B = −.012, β = −.124, t(73) = −2.39, p = .02, …

The human need for social connection is well established, as are the benefits that people derive from such connections. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling such needs by allowing people to instantly connect. Rather than enhancing well-being, as frequent interactions with supportive “offline” social networks powerfully do, the current findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may predict the opposite result for young adults—it may undermine it.

Facebook envy is a hidden threat to life satisfaction

January 22, 2013

Social networking has its downsides. I suspect that all enhanced networking for the many will always lead to new stresses and some form of negative behaviour for a few.

The results of a German study of Facebook users is to be presented at an international conference next month:

11th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik

Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction? by Hanna Krasnova, Helena Wenninger, Thomas Widjaja  and Peter Buxmann

A pdf version of the report is available here: Facebook Envy

cbronline.comAccording to a new German study of over 600 people, using Facebook could make its users feel envious of their successful friends. This result may lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.

The joint research was conducted by Prof. Dr. Peter Buxmann from the Department of Information Systems of the TU Darmstadt and Dr. Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

The research, “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction” revealed that over one-third of surveyed Facebook users reported negative feelings,including frustration, when using the site. Many said this was a cause of feeling envious towards their Facebook friends.

Hanna Krasnova said that although respondents were reluctant to admit feeling envious while on Facebook, they often presumed that envy can be the cause behind the frustration of ‘others’ on this platform — a clear indication that envy is an increasing phenomenon in the Facebook context. “Indeed, access to copious positive news and the profiles of seemingly successful ‘friends’ fosters social comparison that can readily provoke envy,” Krasnova said.

Medical Daily adds:

The study also found that people who use facebook to browse pictures, read wall posts or check newsfeeds are more likely to harbor negative feelings than people who actively participate on the networking platform.

Previous research has associated Facebook use with anxiety, debt and even higher weight. Whether or not Facebook increases depression is still open to debate. But almost everyone agrees that Facebook is addictive, and according to a study, sometimes even more than sex.

A recent study on facebook published in the journal Memory & Cognition had found that people are more likely to remember facebook status updates than lines from a book or even a person’s face. 

Researchers who conducted the present study also found that about a fifth of all events that lead to envy among people were somewhere within the context of facebook. Researchers call this phenomenon as the “envy spiral” where envy leads a person to change his or her profile which in turn leads “others” to be envious.


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