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Why Facebook Makes People Unhappy

Facebook Makes You Sad Because Other People Look Happy

Think of it as keeping up with the Joneses 2.0. Thanks to Facebook, it's easier to compare our lots in life to our peers and, thus, feel inadequate. But it's not our insufficient material possessions that get us down; instead the comparison makes us feel like we're not happy enough.

A study out of Stanford titled "Misery Has More Company Than People Think" found that when college students consistently overestimated the happiness of others, they became more unhappy themselves. Not only do we want to be happy, the lead researcher explains, but we want to be happier than other people. So overestimating our peers' happiness makes us less content. The study suggests that social networking only increases this tendency because sites like Facebook convince us that everyone else is living a near-perfect life — which doesn't surprise me. We each have the power to control what we post, and it's only natural that most would choose to share the positive.

Regardless of the unhappy consequences, I'd take an engagement announcement from an ex, photos from a jealousy-inducing trip, or even shameless self-promotion in my newsfeed over depressing "I'm so stressed!" "Feeling low" or "Stuck in traffic!!" updates any day.

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Epicdoodle Epicdoodle 5 years
Anon, you have to remember how lucky you are to have a caring husband and a lasting marriage, so many people want that. By no means am I qualified to give love advice but you can always rekindle the spark by doing romantic stuff for him and you can tell him you'd like it if did some romantic gestures for you once in a while. Also like Jazzytummy mentioned, don't always believe what you read, who says everything your friends post are true? Frankly I think if someone feels the need to constantly remind and tell everyone how 'amazing' their partner/life is (especially on social networking site) you have to wonder how happy they really are? It almost sounds like they're trying to hide whats happening behind closed doors by painting this picture perfect life she/he has for others to see. I''ve definitely fallen into the trap of feeling depressed by reading others post on fb so I can relate to what is post is saying, I just try to avoid going on fb often and try to concentrate on the good things happening my life instead of whats wrong with it.
Epicdoodle Epicdoodle 5 years
Anon, you have to remember how lucky you are to have a caring husband and a lasting marriage, so many people want that. By no means am I qualified to give love advice but you can always rekindle the spark by doing romantic stuff for him and you can tell him you'd like it if did some romantic gestures for you once in a while. Also like Jazzytummy mentioned, don't always believe what you read, who says everything your friends post are true? Frankly I think if someone feels the need to constantly remind and tell everyone how 'amazing' their partner/life is (especially on social networking site) you have to wonder how happy they really are? It almost sounds like they're trying to hide whats happening behind closed doors by painting this picture perfect life she/he has for others to see. I''ve definitely fallen into the trap of feeling depressed by reading others post on fb so I can relate to what is post is saying, I just try to avoid going on fb often and try to concentrate on the good things happening my life instead of whats wrong with it.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
Anonymous, call me cynical, but I personally think any woman who goes on and on about how perfect her husband is on a social networking site is trying to convince herself more than anyone else that her marriage is great. It's like when you see married couples all lovey-dovey at parties, think they have a perfect relationship, then find out later that they are miserable and having affairs. "Oh but they seemed so happy!..." Yeah, right. It is all about trying too hard and putting on appearances. It also seems very high school..."look how great my life is.." My point is, don't believe all that you read. For all you know, their husbands are assholes. Blech.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
Anonymous, call me cynical, but I personally think any woman who goes on and on about how perfect her husband is on a social networking site is trying to convince herself more than anyone else that her marriage is great. It's like when you see married couples all lovey-dovey at parties, think they have a perfect relationship, then find out later that they are miserable and having affairs. "Oh but they seemed so happy!..." Yeah, right.It is all about trying too hard and putting on appearances. It also seems very high school..."look how great my life is.." My point is, don't believe all that you read. For all you know, their husbands are assholes.Blech.
Pistil Pistil 5 years
I do have a habit of forgetting everything I have to be happy about when I hear/see other people apparently living an enviable life. Travel, parties, friends, family... But you certainly don't need Facebook to get caught in that 'grass is greener' trap, it just makes it a whole lot easier.
Becky-Kirsch Becky-Kirsch 5 years
My friends and I used to have a saying: "Facebook ruins lives." Now there's proof!
zeze zeze 5 years
*and a rising profile
zeze zeze 5 years
*and a rising profile
zeze zeze 5 years
lol, I will admit I was guilty of this a few days ago, I recently graduated and I am fortunate enough to have a job while most others do not from my class, but it's so depressing working all day and having no life! I was going through pictures and a friend who graduated a year before me is now not working with her degree (I'm in a rat race, cut throat profession) but she is doing something that I've wanted to do since I was a child - she is a fashion designer with a thriving internet store and a rising, she posted pictures of her traveling finding vintage pieces to add to her original works and the work in progress and just fun stuff with her family and friends (newly wed too). I'm not jealous in a bad way, I am so happy for her and think she definitely works her butt off for it and deserves it - but in comparison, I can understand how this article is true.
zeze zeze 5 years
lol, I will admit I was guilty of this a few days ago, I recently graduated and I am fortunate enough to have a job while most others do not from my class, but it's so depressing working all day and having no life! I was going through pictures and a friend who graduated a year before me is now not working with her degree (I'm in a rat race, cut throat profession) but she is doing something that I've wanted to do since I was a child - she is a fashion designer with a thriving internet store and a rising, she posted pictures of her traveling finding vintage pieces to add to her original works and the work in progress and just fun stuff with her family and friends (newly wed too). I'm not jealous in a bad way, I am so happy for her and think she definitely works her butt off for it and deserves it - but in comparison, I can understand how this article is true.
amber512 amber512 5 years
Umm...scary!
amber512 amber512 5 years
Umm...scary!
lickety-split lickety-split 5 years
Facebook is all about appearances. About a week ago a woman posted "loving life" on her facebook page, which was full of pix about her wonderful, loving husband. A couple days later that husband strangled her with an electrical cord.
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