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back to article Facebook keeps company with misery say boffins

The more you use Facebook, the worse you feel. That's the headline finding from a new study University of Michigan published on PlosOne this week. Of course, that could mean that the unhappy are turning to Facebook to help them cope, but across the study's sample, the University of Michigan researchers found Facebook use today a …

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Obviously...

A lot of people are going to see their friends/family out having fun while they're looking after kids or in better jobs, better financial position etc.

Really isn't hugely surprising.

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Meh

Re: Obviously...

In general people who use Facebook have boring, uninteresting and insignificant lives, foisting every boring, uninteresting and insignificant minutiae of it on the rest of us in an attempt to give meaning and validation to their existence.

In this way reams of uninteresting crap are posted and read by others in the hope that someone else has a worse existence than they do. This in turn gives then hope which is usually dashed when they find another whom they consider is having a better time. This then develops into a downward spiral where they check their account continuously hoping to find those with a more insignificant disasterous life.

No wonder there are so many miserable users.

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Trollface

Re: Obviously...

Whereas supercilious people who post on the comments sections of internet forums have stimulating, interesting and significant lives? Hmmm.

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Meh

Re: Obviously... @ AbortRetryFail

You are obviously missing the point, posting on a forum is about commenting on an article or expressing an opinion however misguided, idiotic or stupid it is.

It is not about validating your existence though in your case it maybe more about how much you care about how many upvotes you get or the realisation that because you have got so few votes no one is really interested in what you say?

Supercilious or not, unlike the majority of us on here who don't really give a damn. Downvote and be damned I say.

Facebook is about telling the world about 'me, me, me, me, look how great I am'

There is a big difference that you have not cottoned on to.

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Re: Obviously... @ AbortRetryFail

It depends on how you use it. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. can all be used for self-aggrandisement (I'd say that by definition Twitter is the worst) but can equally be used to keep in contact with others. One can use them in exactly the same way as these forums to "comment on [a post] or [express] an opinion however misguided, idiotic or stupid it is".

It's all down to how the person uses the technology, rather than the technology itself.

I would say that this is the big difference that *you* have not cottoned on to.

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Re: Obviously... @ AbortRetryFail

I must admit I find bickering on online forums depressing.

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WTF?

Re: Obviously... @ AbortRetryFail

I've started a new social networking trend called "going down the pub and talking to people". Number of times my facebooky friends talk about what's been happening on facebook, then I join in with "what's it all about" to be responded with, you'd know all about it if you were on facebook. Er, Hello, I'm interacting with you, tell me a story now, in the pub, while I'm actually here! It's any wonder people have anything to talk about if they actually do meet because it's already been talked about on facebook. The art of physical socialising seems to be disappearing.

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Happy

Re: Obviously... @ AbortRetryFail

Twitter is the worst??! You twat! Wait....You twit you!! [There]. How can I possibly self-aggrandise myself in 140 characters or less?? How?! HOW, I ask you!! I need pictures!! I need audio!!! I need VIDS!!!!! With cats and such!!!!! Twitter? phooey. I will go LARGE on Facebook. Damn. Too effing bad that I hate Facebook so much. Oh well.

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Re: Obviously... @ AbortRetryFail

Facebook is about telling the world about 'me, me, me, me, look how great I am'

And you're using the regs's comments section to do exactly the same, however you want to fool yourself your not because, hey, you're better than Facebook, right?

I mean, leaving a comment on the Internet for others to read, well, that's just attention seeking, me, me, me, right? Not something you'd get caught doing, because you're so glorious.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obviously... @ Fink Nottle

"I must admit I find bickering on online forums depressing."

I'm surprised you haven't self-harmed, given the piffling that goes on around these parts. Three solutions:

1) Join in. Remember to be opinionated and rude, and not to take anything personally.

2) Spectate. Draw up a chair, and enjoy - maybe do some inflammatory stirring under the cover of AC.

3) Go and hide to avoid it all.

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One man's survey is another man's flaw

> offering participants a link to an online survey

It sounds like the results were only drawn from the self-selected participants who then chose to fill in the survey. What about the moods of those who didn't? (and doesn't getting continuously harangued to fill in surveys tend to be depressing, too?)

Although this was only about FB - presumably to grab the attention of FB users and those in the media, I would hazard a guess that the same effect - if there actually is one - would be seen with all social media and forums.

Though you do have to ask: why would people continue to do something they didn't have to, if it made them unhappy?

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Re: One man's survey is another man's flaw

They don't realize it is adding to their misery. They are looking to Facebook friends and 'likes' for validation of their lives. Too many people are too concerned with what others think of them.

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@ Don Jefe - Re: One man's survey is another man's flaw

They are looking to Facebook friends and 'likes' for validation of their lives

Probably true, but I wonder how many commentards similarly look for upvotes to validate their opinions?

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Anonymous Coward

The more disagreeable I am the better I feel.

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Re: @ Don Jefe - One man's survey is another man's flaw

I don't comment in order to get upvotes, but still... when I check for replies, I feel better if I see upvotes, than if I see downvtes, or even no upvotes. And that's just from people I don't know, not my "friends".

I guess people who actually "look for validation" through their friends' upvotes, would end up feeling pretty bad in no time.

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@jarfil - Re: @ Don Jefe - One man's survey is another man's flaw

Yep, I confess to having positive/negative feelings (if only temporary) depending on the reaction (or not) to what I post, but it isn't ultimately a big deal compared to the feelings someone ignored/disliked on Facebook could have.

Having a positive or negative response to communication with others is, to my mind, natural and desired : why else do we seek to communicate with people we barely know, or who are total strangers (apart from the desire to learn/teach)?

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The more disagreeable I am the better I feel.

Does that mean the up-votes you got for that has sent you into a spiral of depression?

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Trollface

Re: @ Don Jefe - One man's survey is another man's flaw

Me, I do!

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But what about...

...G+ users? I psychologist could have a field day with that lot.

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Re: But what about...

Those of us who actively use Google+ do so to find new people who share our existing interests and also to find new interests that we hadn't necessarily thought of before, people who use Facebook (in general) do so to whinge about their latest woes, post pics of their babies and pester you to play yet another crappy game that can't be played unless you have pester all your friends to join.

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Holmes

Real Research Finding

This research actually points out quite a different phenomenon - People who spend their time answering Facebook surveys have crappy lives.

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Headmaster

I don't like myself but I don't use Facebook. What does it all mean?

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Pint

Michigan knows all about happiness

... so they studied hard to check if there were some even more miserable souls.

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It's where I get my dose of George Takei -- sad?

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Such research is necessary

Because 'common sense' is not scientifically proven.

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I've been spending less time on Facebook over the past month and I feel a lot better. This may be due to the fact that I've almost finished painting the outside of the house (helped by actually having a summer this month), sorted some plumbing, culled the weed farm (aka garden), walked the dog (much to his amazement) and quite a bit more. I'm knackered in the evenings, having also been at work all day, but there's a sense of achievement there.

Contrast this to the feelings of guilt if I've spent the whole evening messing around on Facebook when I'm aware at the end of the evening that I haven't accomplished anything. Sometimes that's just fine because most of us need a rest, but not when it's every night and the to-do list is getting ever longer.

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Happy

You are taking about responsible use of entertainment, on the Internet. Crazy person! I'm afraid your message won't get through to many people.

Someone will probably tweet it and post the feed on their Facebook page though, all the while completely missing the irony.

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Megaphone

I too had a moment of clarity, shall we say. It was hard detaching from it though, with the nagging feeling that I was missing out on something. For the most part it seems Facebook is full of desperate singles, total losers, egotistical wankers and emotional fuckwits, who you'd never normally even speak to, never mind let them look through all your personal shit. You know it's not right when people start sending you friend requests, who have hundreds of Facebook "friends", are, on a face to face social level, just utter, utter twats. Thanks but no thanks.

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Of course, the increasing dissatisfaction with life may be the result of getting repeated SMS messages asking you to take yet another sodding survey!

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Anonymous Coward

A theory...

Information Overload or Envy can lead to depression... If you get sucked into FB, you can find yourself trying to digest countless updates continuously....Its a never ending form of information overload... Imagine trying to follow every single post on a forum like the Reg 24 hrs a day... There is also the issue of envy and the illusion created by pretty photos or exciting stories. How often does this content reflect the true gritty reality or emotional contentment of the underlying poster?... IMHO FB is a lie!

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Anonymous Coward

Sinister!

After my one-time five-minute use of Farcebook three years ago I became so depressed that I killed myself and never logged in again.

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Tiny sample size is statistically insignificant.

82 users out of a (claimed) 1.15 billion. Even if only 1% of those are real users that's still only 82 in 11.5 million

Hardly a representative sample size.

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Re: Tiny sample size is statistically insignificant.

Not only that, they were sampled for two whole weeks! It's nearly as high quality as those surveys quoted by the shampoo ads.

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