Does Facebook Boost Your Self-Esteem?

By Justin Lafferty 

While we may seem happy on Facebook, liking pages on a daily basis and posting inspirational photos, does the social network really bring us joy? That’s what researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Georgia wanted to find out. They believe that Facebook might be making us feel better about ourselves.

In the experiment, a group of 151 college students were randomly assigned the job of editing their Facebook or MySpace page or completing a task through Google Maps.

The study showed that those who edited their MySpace page showed increased narcissism. Those who edited their Facebook page showed greater self-esteem. Somewhat surprisingly, the study indicated that Facebook use didn’t lead to increased levels of narcissism.

University of Georgia doctoral candidate Brittany Gentile explained the difference between the two popular social networking sites:

The two sites operate differently. On MySpace, you don’t really interact with other people. The pages resemble personal webpages, and a lot of people have become famous on MySpace, whereas Facebook has a standard profile and a company message that sharing will improve the world.

Student users of both sites who showed signs of narcissism reported having more friends. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that MySpace makes you a narcissist or Facebook makes you more confident, it’s interesting to see how users’ minds reacted.

Go to Science Direct to view the full report, for $19.95.

There have been several other studies linking Facebook to happiness (or depression). Studies have even shown that singles on Facebook aren’t as positive as people who are married or in a relationship. Facebook itself even has the Gross National Happiness Index.

Readers: Do you think using Facebook makes you feel better about yourself?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.