Facebook Makes Us Feel Bad About Our Lives

Those who use it more often think others are happier: study

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 12, 2012 1:31 PM CST | Updated Jan 15, 2012 7:00 PM CST

(Newser) – One quick way to feel better about your life: Delete your Facebook account. Or, at the very least, spend less time on it. A new study suggests that the more you use Facebook, the more likely you are to believe that your friends are happier and lead better lives than you, Miller-McCune reports. Also contributing: the number of Facebook "friends" you don't actually know. The more of them clogging up your news feed, the more likely you are to think others are happier than you.

"The more hours people spent on Facebook, the stronger was their agreement that others were happier," the paper reads. Similarly, those who used Facebook more were less likely to agree with the statement, "Life is fair." The author of the study thinks this is all due to "correspondence bias," in which we assume others are happy based on the happy pictures and happy status updates they post—without taking into consideration that it may all be for show. But those who spent more time socializing with friends in real life were less likely to think others lead happier lives, indicating that real-life get-togethers can be a good reality check.

In this file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows Timeline during the f/8 conference in San Francisco.
In this file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows Timeline during the f/8 conference in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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