Can Facebook Really Lower Your Self-Esteem?

   By drodriguez  Feb 09, 2012

For many of us, logging on to Facebook has become a daily (sometimes even hourly) activity. A SheSpeaks poll finds that 70% of us admit to checking our Facebook throughout the day when we find time. With social media still in its budding phase it’s hard to say how much is too much.

A new study finds that the amount of hours you log on to a site like Facebook may have a link to how you feel about yourself and the people around you. The blog, Social Graf, reports about the study conducted by Utah Valley University and published the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

Sociologists involved in the study surveyed 425 college students and found that those who spent the most time on Facebook showed signs of low self esteem and felt that others had more fulfilling lives and were overall happier than them. Interestingly, the students who felt the greatest feeling of “the grass is always greener” included more people on their “friend” list that they do not actually know.

Students who spent more time taking part in “real” socializing reported feeling happier than those who logged a greater number of hours on the social networking site.

The question of whether excessive social media use is the cause of low-self esteem and feelings of depression or if these feelings lead to greater Facebook use has not been studied.

What do you think of the study that finds students who use Facebook more frequently feel others are happier than them?

Do you think low self-esteem can come from excessive Facebook use or were these students battling these issues before they began using social media?

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JustAddCoffee by JustAddCoffee | CROWN POINT, IN
Feb 09, 2012

I agree to a point, I like to look at peoples pages, I also use facebook for my photography and resale shop, so this is my work. But I can see where if you have no life, but to be on facebook that everyones life is more interesting then yours I would feel like poop too

cocoabella by cocoabella | EL PASO, TX
Feb 09, 2012

i think using fb can make people depressed for the reasons jemappel wrote. people are going to post all the 'highpoints' in their lives - all the fun stuff. Some might constantly compare their life which has the lowpoints in it as well as highpoints they are going to feel they don't measure up to par.

naomikent by naomikent | New York, NY
Feb 09, 2012

This is so true. The people that are always showing off about their lives are usually the ones that are unhappy and unsatisfied. Why do you need to tell everyone about your every move? Very self-centered. I try to stay away from the site as much as I can

jemappel by jemappel | Rye Brook, NY
Feb 09, 2012

This is fascinating and it makes sense. FB can be like reading a Christmas card every day, where people just post the exciting things they do, so if you're just reading other people's fun updates, it can make you feel like your own life is less interesting.

heavenly41 by heavenly41 | PORTLAND, OR
Feb 09, 2012

I believe FB can. A woman got so enraged over her child bothering her as she played FARMVILLE on FB (of all "games") and murdered the baby, another old woman got grand larceny over her FARMVILLE addiction, marriages have disolved, I see bullying, pornography pop up now and then or better yet how many murders could someone find if they looked?. Yes FB can help lower many standards so people need to be careful. I use FB and seem to avoid these problems so I don't get how others can allow the behaviors that cause the domino effect, affect their lives unless it's bullying but then walk away from FB for good would be my outlook. Low self esteem and these behaviors can and do go hand in hand.

caren1875 by caren1875 | Lansdowne, MD
Feb 09, 2012

While I agree that if we were out doing exciting adventures versus sitting in front of Facebook we'd have better self esteems, I think you get out of Facebook what you put in it. If you use it to gripe about your life or use it to peek into your friends virtual windows, you will get lost in the negativity of this world. But I don't have time to do "real" socializing with hundreds of my friends yet Facebook lets them know the little things and the big things and can "like" me giving me support that I'm on the right track. I am Facebook addicted so I am bias.