Does Updating Facebook Mean You're Happy?

February 02,2011
Lindsay Hutton( )

I'll admit it-- I'm a Facebook junkie.

 

Now,  I'm not one of those people that collects as many friends as possible for the sole purpose of...well, collecting friends.

But, I do use Facebook as a main means of communicating with my friends and I also have a penchant for scrolling through my newsfeed for the simple reason of seeing what everyone is up to.

I suppose it's a sign of the times, where online communication is overtaking face-to-face or telephone interactions. I'd say I'm one of those people. Making plans with friends usually takes place through an email thread or Facebook message.

I use my phone more for texting than calling. (Aside from talking to my parents, who corresponding with them via text could take days due to their lack of knowledge of how to do it...which defeats the purpose of sending a text, since it's meant to be quick. Besides, I kind of like talking to them.)

Anyway, I digress. My main point of this post goes back to my penchant for scrolling through my newsfeed reading others status updates. A new study published in the January issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin   has found that viewing other's cheery updates and pictures on Facebook can make us feel bad about our own lives.

Granted, the study points out (and I completely agree with this) that leaving happy, upbeat updates about our lives is often a form of "veiled bragging" used as a way to show that we are happy and enjoying life to the fullest.

And this makes it harder for others in their never-ending quest to be happier than their counterparts (something that has been goingon since before the Internet era), since this causes them to gauge other's as being happier than they really are.

Thankfully, I'm not one of those people who feels the need to let the Facebook community know when I'm going to the gym...whew!Eating lunch...OMG so yummy!/Out for drinks with Betty and Paul....it's SOOO FUN! 

I mean, if I'm really having fun doing all these things, why would I feel the need to go on Facebook to post it? Shouldn't my mind be on what I'm actually doing, instead of on how quickly I can post a new status so everyone knows what I'm doing?

I think, and this is just a generalization of course, that people who feel the need to let the world know what they're doing every second of the day aren't only trying to convince others that they are happy and fulfilled, they're trying to convince themselves of the same.

Because, really, if you think about it, the really happy and content people aren't sitting on their computers updating everyone on what they are doing in their life. They're actually out living it.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think people who update Facebook constantly about what is going on thier lives really are content? Or are they just trying to make others think they are? Or, do you think it has nothign to do with happiness and fulfillment, and is actually just a sign of the times?

Weigh in!