Facebook makes users envious and dissatisfied - PRESS RELEASE


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Facebook makes users envious and dissatisfied - PRESS RELEASE

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Facebook makes users envious and dissatisfied - PRESS RELEASE

  1. 1. Joint press release by the Technische UniversitätDarmstadt and the Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinFacebook makes users envious and dissatisfiedDarmstadt, January 21, 2013. Participation in social networks, such as TU DarmstadtFacebook, can cause negative feelings and reduce members’ life Corporate Communicationssatisfaction. Those are the results of a survey with nearly 600 Karolinenplatz 5Facebook users by Information Systems scientists at the TU Darmstadt D-64289 Darmstadtand the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Germany Your contact:In a joint research study conducted by the Department of Information Christian SiemensSystems of the TU Darmstadt (Prof. Dr. Peter Buxmann) and the Institute Tel.: +49–(0)6151–163229 FAX: +49–(0)6151–164128of Information Systems of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Dr. Hanna siemens.ch@pvw.tu-darmstadt.deKrasnova), Facebook members were surveyed regarding their feelings afterusing the platform. More than one-third of respondents reported http://www.tu-darmstadt.de/pressepredominantly negative feelings, such as frustration. The researchers presse@tu-darmstadt.deidentified that envying their “Facebook friends” is the major reason for this Humboldt-Universität zu Berlinresult. Project manager Dr. Hanna Krasnova, who is currently a post- Press and Public-Relationsdoctoral researcher at the Humboldt-Universität, explained that, “Although Departmentrespondents were reluctant to admit feeling envious while on Facebook, Unter den Linden 6they often presumed that envy can be the cause behind the frustration of D-10099 Berlin“others” on this platform - a clear indication that envy is a salient Germanyphenomenon in the Facebook context. Indeed, access to copious positive Your contact:news and the profiles of seemingly successful ‘friends’ fosters social Constanze Haasecomparison that can readily provoke envy. By and large, online social Tel.: +40–(0)30–2093–2332networks allow users unprecedented access to information on relevant FAX: +49–(0)30–2093–2107 e-mail: constanze.haase@hu-berlin.deothers - insights that would be much more difficult to obtain offline.”Those who do not engage in any active, interpersonal communications onsocial networks and primarily utilize them as sources of information, e.g.reading friends’ postings, checking news feeds, or browsing throughphotos, are particularly subject to these painful experiences.Envying Facebook friends leads to a vicious “envy spiral”Another result of the survey was that about one-fifth of all recentonline/offline events that had provoked envy among the respondents tookplace within a Facebook context. This reveals a colossal role of thisplatform in users’ emotional life. Paradoxically, envy can frequently lead tousers embellishing their Facebook profiles, which, in turn, provokes envyamong other users, a phenomenon that the researchers have termed “envyspiral.” Page: 1/2
  2. 2. The leading online and offline envy provokers in Germany are related to“Travel and Leisure”. As Dr. Thomas Widjaja of the TU-Darmstadt, whowas also involved in the project, put it, “This is a result of numerousvacation photos posted on Facebook, which are particularly popular amongGerman users.”Facebook envy fosters dissatisfactionBased on the survey data, the researchers were also able to establish anegative link between the envy that arises while on Facebook and users’general life satisfaction. Indeed, passive use of Facebook heightensinvidious emotions that, in turn, adversely affect users’ satisfaction withtheir lives. Coauthor Helena Wenninger of the TU-Darmstadt argued that,“Considering the fact that Facebook use is a worldwide phenomenon andenvy is a universal feeling, a lot of people are subject to these painfulconsequences.”The results of the survey will be presented at the “11th InternationalConference Wirtschaftsinformatik (Information Systems)” to be held inLeipzig, Germany, February 27 through March 1, 2013. The researchersplan to conduct a follow-on survey that will explore the effects of Facebookuse on envy and its consequences within various cultures.Source of further information:The study, which is entitled “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’Life Satisfaction,” may be viewed and/or downloaded fromhttp://warhol.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/~hkrasnova/Ongoing_Research_files/WI%202013%20Final%20Submission%20Krasnova.pdfPress contacts:Prof. Dr. Peter BuxmannTechnische Universität DarmstadtTel.: +49–(0)6151–162663e-mail: buxmann@is.tu-darmstadt.deDr. Hanna KrasnovaHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinTel. +49–(0)30–2093–5740e-mail: krasnovh@wiwi.hu-berlin.dePR-No. 06/2013, csi Page: 2/2