I 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