Is Facebook Helping Your Self-Esteem?


Facebook LogoA Fast Company article about a recent study on Facebook’s self-esteem effects reports that two Cornell University researchers found that Facebook actually helps boosts people’s self-esteem. Researcher Amy Gonzalez and associate professor of communications, Jeffrey Hancock, decided to conduct the study to show if Facebook can have a positive influence on the self-esteem of college students. You can find the paper in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

Sixty-three Cornell students were seated in the University’s social media lab. In front of them was one of three options:

1)    A computer with their Facebook profile
2)    A computer that was turned off
3)    A computer with a mirror prompted against them

All the students were told to sit there for three minutes and the Facebook group were given permission to navigate through their profile during that time. Once the minutes were up, everyone was given a questionnaire designed to measure their self-esteem.

It turns out that those who had used Facebook gave much more positive feedback about themselves than those in the mirror and control group.

“Unlike a mirror, which reminds us of who we really are and may have a negative effect on self-esteem if that image does not match with our ideal, Facebook can show a positive version of ourselves,” Hancock said. “We’re not saying that it’s a deceptive version of self, but it’s a positive one.”

Do you use Facebook everyday? Does it give you a positive self-esteem?

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