Facebook is probably the most popular social network site worldwide, with a global usage penetration of 22.9 percent. Every time you take a photo flattering that you can’t wait to make it your Facebook profile picture for all to admire it and –most importantly –for that Facebook likes. Okay, it might sound a bit rude, but there are some annoying people on Facebook that post stuff just to get those Facebook likes and comments.
Receiving ‘likes’ on social media posts doesn’t make people feel better about themselves or improve their mood if they are down. Some people turn to psychotherapy, some people turn to retail therapy, and some people turn to Facebook therapy.
Adding more evidence to the fact that getting Facebook likes doesn’t make us feel better. A new study indicates those Facebook likes are pretty shallow. According to the preliminary research, receiving attention via likes on social media does nothing to improve your mood or make you feel any better about yourself.
It turns out, those thumbs up or heart icons don’t make much of a difference when it comes to our happiness.
When it comes to feeling down, a study finds that looking Facebook for a mental boost by accumulating “likes” from friends doesn’t actually make people feel good or have any positive impact on one’s self-esteem.
Researchers at the University of South Wales recruited 340 social media users to complete personality questionnaires via Twitter and Facebook. They were also asked to say how much they agreed or disagreed with 25 statements relating to the ways people appreciate being valued on social media. For example ‘the attention I get from social media makes me feel good’ or ‘I consider someone popular based on the amount of Facebook likes they get’.
The results were pretty eye-opening. Analysis revealed that participants who said they went out of their way to get more Facebook likes (such as asking others or paying) were more likely to have low self-esteem and be less trusting. There were also found people who admitted that they deleted their posts or made a picture on their profile picture on the basis of the number of likes it got.
The researchers also found out that when people received the likes they so desperately searched for, they didn’t actually feel any better or positiveness within themselves. The results also showed that receiving those Facebook likes didn’t actually make people feel any better about themselves or help them feel better when they were down.
“The proliferation of social media use has led to general concerns about the effects on our mental health. Although this is just a relatively small-scale study the results indicate that the ways we interact with social media can affect how we feel and not always positively” said Martin Graff, head of research in psychology, from the University of South Wales.
As tempting as it is to track the likes on your hot new selfie, there are better ways to boost your mood. If you want a shot of self-esteem, try calling a friend or your loved ones. And if you’re just feeling down, try some creative stuff like drawing, listening to music, or just taking a walk in nature or even around the block.
Facebook likes may seem like the path to happiness, but as research shows, they’re a dead end. Facebook is a full package of communication, education, entertainment, and addiction.
I’m not here to discourage you from using Facebook. Stick with what you think is right! Stay on it. Do what you need to do.
What I want to caution against is pursuing more Facebook likes. Likes themselves are fine, but they can be misleading.
What do you think? Is more Facebook likes valuable? Let us know in the comments below.