Having a bad day? Logging on to Facebook may help turn your day around.
Sure, we’ve heard it before. The internet makes us dumber and less fulfilled, but according to a recent Cornell study, this is not true for Facebook. Researchers Amy Gonzales and Jeffrey Hancock conducted a study with 63 students in Cornell’s Social Media Lab. According to a recent Fast Company article, “The students then sat in front of computers (for three minutes), some of which showed their Facebook profiles, some of which showed nothing (the computer was off), and some of which, eerily, had mirrors propped against the computer screen.” Students browsing Facebook were only allowed to view their page and tabs.
After the three minute exercise, the students were given a self-esteem questionnaire. Surprisingly, the only rise in self-esteem was reported on those browsing Facebook. Gonzales told the Cornell Chronicle, “Unlike a mirror, which reminds us of who we really are and may have a negative effect on self-esteem if that image does not match with our ideal, Facebook can show a positive version of ourselves.”
Gonzales, who is now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is far from done with this study. She plans on investigating what aspect of Facebook led to this spike in self-esteem. Is it the photos? Maybe it’s all of those ‘Likes?’ Or could it be all of those great comments posted on your Wall?
Does Facebook boost your self-esteem? Personally, I cannot wait to upload photos from my recent skiing trip in Italy, bound to turn any bad day right around.