This is a huge bummer if it's true, because I really love Facebook. But a new study found that the more you're on Facebook, the lower your self-control. The lower your self-control, the more likely you are to do things like break your diet or break your budget and rack up credit card debt.
Frequent Facebookers were more likely to choose cookies over granola bars, because apparently looking at the lives of our close friends makes us feel warm and fuzzy -- boosting our self-esteem -- which makes us think we deserve a treat.
This makes me want to cancel my Facebook account.
And the more you like your friends, the more vulnerable you are to packing on the pounds. "It really only happens when the people you're connected to are close friends -- 'strong ties' -- because you care about these people," said Andrew Stephen, one of the researchers who did the study.
It gets worse. Not only will you reach for the Ben & Jerry's instead of the rice cakes after perusing the profiles of your besties, you're more likely to give up on word puzzles (well, who wants to do those?) and you're more likely to have credit-card debt. "Even after just five minutes of Facebook use, people showed higher levels of self-esteem and a reduction in observable self-control," Stephen said. FML.
What can we do if we just can't break the Facebook addiction but don't want to cut up our MasterCards after we have to buy new fat pants? Just don't do it.
"Just think, I'm going to correct myself and go out of my way to not have that lapse of self-control," Stephen said. Because yeeeeeeeah. That works really well.
I'm not sure what the point of figuring out that Facebook causes us to make bad decisions is if the answer to the problem is "don't." But maybe I'll think twice before looking at all those vacation photos my pals are posting unless I think I've got some spare time to spend at the gym. Maybe.
Would you quit Facebook if it made you pack on the pounds?
Image via Tax Credits/Flickr