Feel like you’re caught in a vicious cycle of jealousy and self-importance? You may be using Facebook too much.
A new study by Sauder School of Business Professor Izak Benbasat and his collaborators shows that envy is a key motivator behind Facebook posts and that contributes to a decrease in mental well-being among users.
Researchers say Facebook leads users to feel their lives are unfulfilled by comparison, and react by creating posts that portray their best selves.
Izak Benbasat joined Simi Sara to discuss the study.
The study was done using a survey method with questions about how often they look at what their friends are sharing, if they look at photos, videos, are browsing, etc.
“And people answer these questions from ‘I never do this’ to, at the high end,’I do this several times a day’. So that indicates the extent to which they are consuming information. And then we ask people about feelings of envy.”
For example, “Are you annoyed when you see your friends are successful?” or “Does it disturb you to see how much your friends are travelling?’ were some of the questions asked.
Benbasat says they found that people feel more envious when they are looking at information about people travelling. The study also found that people don’t want to admit that they feel envious.
In terms of mental well-being, the study found that the more you consume social media, the more envious you feel, and the more your feelings of well-being are diminished.
LISTEN to the full interview here: