Previous studies have shown that Facebook can lead to depression, but a recent study claims otherwise. Which is true? At this point, whichever you want to believe!
A Cornell University study suggests that Facebook is a fool-proof way to get a quick ego boost.
The study left 63 students in a university computer lab in front of a computer; computers were either turned off or had the student’s Facebook page open. Students who had access to Facebook were given 3 minutes to check out their page.
All students were given a questionnaire to measure self-esteem.
The study found that students who were on Facebook before the questionnaire had a more positive outlook about themselves than students who did not. What’s more, students who made a change to their profile gave themselves the highest positive feedback.
How does this work? How can browsing our Facebook page boost our ego and self-esteem?
According to the researchers, we build our Facebook page to present the best versions of ourselves to the world. When we scan our profile, we remind ourselves of this version as opposed to the more realistic, and possibly less positive, versions of ourselves.
Translation: We convince ourselves, (as temporary as it may be), that we are the person we portray to the outside world.
On Facebook (or even in public), we don’t openly display our insecurities, flaws or imperfections; we display our best pictures, our positive thoughts and all of the interests and things that make us the most happy.
So the real question is: Why WOULDN’T browsing your Facebook page give you an ego-boost?
Researchers may have slightly skimmed over the fact that perhaps this ego-boost is relative to our friends.
Who doesn’t feel good when you see your rude “frenemy” tagged in an unflattering picture that displays her muffin top, under eye bags and sloppy hair?
Either way, I think the answer lies in your friends: If you have successful, attractive friends that you are envious of, then chances are you’ll feel crappy after browsing Facebook! If you have friends who pale in comparison to you, then Facebook will provide that extra boost!