Facebook 'Likes' Will Make You Do Things You Really, Really Don't Want to Do

faceboookI really don't know how researchers have time to analyze anything other than Facebook these days, because literally every single day, there's a new study that comes out, telling us that the social networking site basically is the cigarettes of our generation and it's slowly killing us one "like" at a time.

Today's cheery news: Facebook "likes" make you fat and poor.


The study, ominously called "Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control," found that people's self-esteem sees a nice boost after they browse their newsfeeds. (Note: The study found this to be true for people who have close ties with their "friends.") Consequently, when people are feeling good after a solid Facebook session, their willpower plummets. The study states: "People with high self-esteem typically have more self control, not less. It seems the momentary increase in self control that the participants got from browsing Facebook for a few minutes creates a sense of entitlement to do what they want and, therefore, lower self control." AKA, you're more likely to choose a cookie over tree bark, or spend money on something you may not have.

I can't say I'm surprised here. Getting a bunch of "likes" on Facebook is the virtual equivalent of being out with friends. You're feeling good; you're in supportive company -- sure, why not have a cupcake? Or why not buy that shirt you're eyeing?

And then you get to post a photo of said cupcake or shirt on Facebook, and get even more "likes" because eating and shopping rules! And the whole process starts over! Damn you, Facebook! You really are a self-esteem-boosting, diet-killing, bank-sucking monster. But I love you.

Do you feel like Facebook gives you a self-esteem boost or makes your self-esteem plummet? Or both?

Image via ˜Twon˜/Flickr

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