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Facebook – The “Debbie Downer” Network

Feeling lousy and lonely? Well, a recent study shows that you should steer clear of Facebook because it’ll only make matters worse. Should you ditch the downer so it doesn't bring down your career?

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(Photo Credit: shamaasa

When Facebook first hit the internet scene, the exclusive group of college students allowed on the site where more interested in connecting with friends and seeing what this new “social network” was all about. However, today’s expanded user base (um... the entire world) logs on to take a hit to their egos after scanning through post after post of their "friends'" seemingly amazing lives.

Facebook allows people to portray their best selves, which is usually far from the truth. Let’s get real, people, and consider the facts that the University of Michigan found in their Facebook vs. Depression study.

Here’s a recap of the study and its findings:

  • 82 people were selected to participate in the study (53 females and 29 males)
  • Participants received 5 text messages per day for two weeks to determine how people felt moment-to-moment and how satisfied they were with their lives.
  • The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time they were texted
  • The more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time
  • Interacting with other people “directly” did not predict these negative outcomes.

It's easy to grow bitter about the constant reminder on social media that everyone but you is getting a promotion or raise, while your boss is still trying to figure out if your name is Michael or Robert. Life isn't fair, we know... and we're terribly sorry about that. However, your social media feeds aren't always the best places to turn to for a pick-me-up when you're feeling down in the dumps about your life or your career. 

Facebook may feed our need for social interaction and connection, however, the more we use it, the more depressed we feel, which can greatly affect our careers in a the worst way. Said simply, Facebook shouldn’t be taken literally... EVER! Just because someone claims to be happy, that doesn’t mean that's the reality of the situation. In fact, when people feel the need to constantly remind their cyber friends about how “happy” they are, it’s usually because they really aren’t… at all. If you’re happy, then be happy. You won’t need to throw it in everyone’s face. 

This same advice can be applied to those pesky colleagues who constantly feel the need to gloat about their lives on- and offline. Who knows, your boss or co-workers might even be envious of your simple, unpublicized life without your knowing, so focus on your priorities (family and career) and steer clear of comparing yourself to the lives that others portray on social media. We don't need to repeat this unnecessary and vicious cycle of high school pettiness now that we're all (supposedly) adults now. Right? 

Remember, misery loves company, so don’t get caught up in that type of company. Focus on what makes your life fulfilling and rewarding. 

Tell Us What You Think

Do you feel that Facebook has negatively affected your well-being? If so, share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below. 

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