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Researchers Find Facebook Triggers Feelings Of Envy

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ever feel a little twinge of jealousy when you look at a friend’s vacation photos on Facebook? Turns out, you’re not alone.

According to a pair of German researchers, Facebook triggers feelings of envy. In fact, in one-third of all cases, people feel worse after browsing the site.

When Cori Johnson’s husband posted Facebook photos of their recent Puerto Rico vacation, she wasn’t surprised at the response.

“Some people were like, ‘Wow, that was fabulous, that looks great.’ But there were also some comments like, ‘So jealous’ and ‘BRAT!,’ she said with a laugh.

The researchers found people who followed Facebook, but didn’t contribute much were the most likely to be affected.

According to Reuters, researcher Hanna Krasnova of Berlin’s Humboldt University said, “We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them lonely, frustrated or angry.”

The report is called “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life.” The researchers interviewed almost 600 German students about their emotions after looking at Facebook.

After vacation envy, they found people were also jealous when comparing status or photo likes as well as Happy Birthday posts. In general, they found people in their mid-30s were more likely to be jealous of family happiness. Women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness.

According to the paper’s abstract, “From a provider’s perspective, our findings signal that users frequently perceive Facebook as a stressful environment, which may, in the long-run, endanger platform sustainability.”

To read more about the study, click here.

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