Is Facebook making us miserable?

Miserable people consistently underestimate how miserable everyone else on the planet is, and therefore feel more miserable. The main reason for feeling crappy? Facebook, of course.

Alex Jordan, a former Ph.D. student in Stanford’s psychology department took interest in the way his friends reacted after cruising Facebook. He explains that without fail, his friends “were convinced that everyone else was leading a perfect life.” 

So, Jordan took his findings and led an all out study on the human psyche to see how humans regard their emotion state of mind to that of others. 

Jordan points out that of course Facebook isn’t the only thing prompting humans to feel bad about themselves, explaining that this sentiment is an age old dilemma.

To prove it he quotes philosopher Montesquieu: “If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.”

Clearly Montesquieu didn’t have a Facebook page, but he did notice the same human emotion that Jordan did.

Jordan found that by nature, humans perceive their own misery as worse than those around them. With this find, experts have noted that Facebook is an ideal place for self-loathing mostly because it’s filled with happy status updates and pictures that can make those predisposed to feeling dejected, feel extra dejected.

The study found that no matter how many statuses were focused on sad feelings like missing friends or bad days, the test subjects seemed to focus on fun things like going out or attending parties, thus prompting feelings of jealousy and detection.

In short, Facebook leaves a person feeling like the only one in the world not having fun.

Still, it’s important to remember that Facebook is a place where a person can create a online personality showing themselves in the best light. Of course people are only going to post happy pictures of themselves, but that’s not to say they’re not just as miserable as you are.

(Via Slate