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Facebook Get A Life
Nate Bolt via Flickr / Creative Commons (enlarged)

Science says too much Facebook makes you jealous, depressed

Secretly stalking your friends online is going to make you one sad and bitter person

Does looking at your friend’s news feed make you really depressed about how lousy your life is? You’re not on your own. In news that will surprise exactly no-one, scientists have found that lurking on Facebook is just makes you jealous and miserable.

The study, conducted by the University of Missouri, showed spending too much time on the social media site causes “Facebook envy”. The 700 students they surveyed showed symptoms of depression, triggered by feelings of jealousy caused by their friend’s status updates bragging about how awesome their life is.

“Facebook can be a fun and healthy activity if users take advantage of the site to stay connected with family and old friends and to share interesting and important aspects of their lives,” said Margaret Duffy, a university professor involved with the study.

The real danger comes when you start trying to measure your own success against the people on your news feed.

“Facebook can be a very positive resource for many people, but if it is used as a way to size up one’s own accomplishments against others, it can have a negative effect. It is important for Facebook users to be aware of these risks so they can avoid this kind of behaviour when using Facebook,” she added.

I know I can’t resist the urge to look through all 140 travelling pics of some guy I know barely know just so I can wallow in the fact that I’m stuck in a tiny bedsit flat in North London where the lights don’t work. But if you're not so good at dealing with jealousy, you can just do what this Dutch graphic designer did and photoshop yourself into all your Facebook gap yah pics from the comfort of home.