The Friday Fail: Sad Face

Adapted from "Emoticon Tale (219 / 365)" on Flickr by Casey Fleser

Is Facebook giving you a poor self image? Maybe, according to a study published in the January issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Slate’s Libby Copeland breaks down the study’s origin and findings, which can be summed up with a big round frowny face:

[Researcher Alex] Jordan…noticed that [his friends] seemed to feel particularly crummy about themselves after logging onto [Facebook] and scrolling through others’ attractive photos, accomplished bios, and chipper status updates. “They were convinced that everyone else was leading a perfect life,” [Jordan said]…

By showcasing the most witty, joyful, bullet-pointed versions of people’s lives, and inviting constant comparisons in which we tend to see ourselves as the losers, Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles’ heel of human nature. And women—an especially unhappy bunch of late—may be especially vulnerable to keeping up with what they imagine is the happiness of the Joneses.

So this weekend, get away from the screen, get out in the real world, and see how miserable all your friends and neighbors really are. It’ll be enough to make you smile–just in time, perhaps, for the perfect new Facebook profile photo.

Hat tip: Brian “Stimpy” Engelhart, who always makes me happy.

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