Marriage and Family Therapist
Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross is a licensed psychotherapist with almost twenty years of clinical experience in the fields of clinical psychology and organizational management. She has worked extensively with a wide variety of…
Is Facebook Making You Feel Lonely?
Posted in Loneliness by Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross on Feb 20, 2013
For those who are single and looking for love you may want to avoid spending too much time reading the updates on Facebook. According to a study conducted at two German universities, the constant display of people’s love lives, successes, and vacations often leaves readers feeling envious and sad. In fact, based on the study, those who were frequent Facebook users reported less general life satisfaction.

It seems that vacation photos were among the biggest offenders in their ability to trigger the green-eyed monster or, in other words, envy. Sadly, the results of this particular study, in a nutshell, shows Facebook users basically being envious of other people’s happiness and good fortune.

Certainly the content that people post is incredibly selective. It is not often that you see photos of someone having a bad hair day or looking their worst. Also true is that users tend to post good news, unless of course they are seeking support from friends in a time of stress or tragedy. What readers who are less than satisfied with their life are generally experiencing, as they read their Facebook newsfeed, is a small but glowing slice of their “friends’” lives. The tendency to compare yourself to others is natural but when you are comparing your own situation to the carefully filtered information you see in these posts, you may end up wanting. This is an important concept to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation.

There have been numerous studies done describing the toll Facebook can take on our delicate feelings and some even link this phenomenon to an exacerbation of mental health problems. Of great concern, in my opinion, is how these sites affect adolescents who, at best, are dealing with heightened emotions and feelings of vulnerability.

Facebook does have some redeeming qualities and some reports describe positive psychological benefits from using the site. The clear message here is moderation and maintaining perspective. If you are feeling particularly lonely or sensitive take a short break from reading your friends’ happy updates. Find ways to connect with people in the real world who will offer a more balanced view of life, rather than the positive sound bites you see on-line. Resist the urge to compare yourself, your friend count, or anything else you see on social networking sites.

- Cyndi


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TAGS: Symptoms  •  Therapies

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i just realized that it is def having a negative effect on my life but i have no life so i constantly am on there:(
By Snazzytee  Nov 08, 2013
MUCH simpler. Just try talking to a few people and get find out how little u mean to people...and FB does this the BEST!
So if you are not already the belle of the ball you don't wanna mess with this pointless loneliness-maker.
By BeetsMe  Sep 10, 2013
Yep. It does sometimes.
By kelgoldenhearttx  Aug 21, 2013
Thank you. That is helpful.
By fashion  Jun 15, 2013
Thank yoh so much for this! I have noticed an increase in feelings of dissatisfaction after reading fb so I will be taking a break and seeing if that helps. Thanks again!!
By Clover81  Mar 30, 2013
i'm too friendless to even have a facebook account;)
By penntucky  Mar 30, 2013
I see so many of my friends on face book and every feeling she talks about I have felt... some times I feel it's an antisocial net work because people block you or unfriend you because it's the social power play that they have over you and it hurts and people have been killed for unfriending someone.
By captblue  Mar 24, 2013
To certain extent I find Facebook and DS much alike. People asking to be friends then never hearing from them and seeing people engaging with one another while you are being left out hurts regardless what site you are on.
By foreveralone1  Feb 23, 2013
I get know return messages except one or two and I've been here awhile.Of course sometimes I get about ten and I get in a mood and delete them (I'm BI-Polar).But they could inquire why lol.They almost never do.I'm not much fun lol.
By GREGGY2  Feb 22, 2013
I took myself off of facebook due to the fact that i would be on it first thing in the morn and check on it all day long.I just thought to myself without facebook i could be making real ethentic experiances and i could go out with my time i spend on facebook and do something tangible.I feel facebook is a big tool to filter how people want there lifes to look like to others.I want to live and be free from social media predicting if iam ok or not.
By juju31  Feb 21, 2013
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