Facebook has become the vehicle that most people use to communicate all the good things happening in their lives. Weddings, promotions, births and birthday celebrations and all the other wonderful things people have to talk about. It used to be that we all got these gushing stories in annual Holiday Letters. You know the ones where everything is just so wonderful for the Joneses that you want to scream. Again with Johnny’s winning streak and high grades, really Sally won the statewide competition again and the reporting on yet another vacation to Europe or Hawaii. Everyone has a story or two to share about getting depressed after reading these letters, especially when your life does not seem to be going so well. Now, multiply those letters by daily onslaughts of good news status updates and there is no doubt we are not feeling so happy about ourselves.
Yahoo Shine! recently reported on a study of 600 Facebook users about how they felt following their friends lives through updates and surprisingly, most where not happy. They experienced episodes of negativity and oftentimes exaggerated their own posts as not to seem envious.
People that were only casual users of Facebook felt the worst. Seeing all the wonderful things going on with their friends made them feel less successful and sad. How many times have you found out about a party you were not invited to through a friend’s status update? How about the new relationship status of an ex? These events used to be filtered by distance but now are fully available for everyone to see at any time.
If you are feeling a little down about things going on in your life, don’t turn to Facebook or other social media outlets for comfort. Best to just call a good friend and visit the old-fashioned way – face to face.