Strange as it may sound, Facebook likes have no real power of positivity or keeping spirits up, researchers say. The study conducted in the University of South Wales in Britain shed a new light on the effects social media take in our lives, indicating that online courtesies and signs of approval have little to do with good humor.
Facebook likes have become a coin of the realm nowadays. People earn good money by posting short messages and pictures, subsequently rewarded with appreciative icons. Surely, not everyone intends to monetize their online footprint, but most people do hope to derive a benefit of a psychological nature. It seems to be logical, that being liked’ gives a reason to boost self-esteem and improve mood. But it doesn’t work that way. If your heart sinks, Facebook likes won’t cheer you up, the study confirms.
Such a bleak verdict comes from a recent survey carried out among 340 active users, found on Twitter and Facebook. Participants filled in the questionnaires agreeing or disagreeing with 25 different statements, which described the ways they felt about being appreciated online. It turned out, Facebook likes are armorless in the face of dumps; they do not make users feel better.
Study also unveiled an unlooked-for outcome of paid likes and thumbs-up received from friends on request. Users who fall back upon these methods of personal account upgrade were more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and experience problems trusting other people. Those respondents who reported deleting posts or restlessly choosing the most liked’ photo to set as a profile picture, had similar results. They also demonstrated no specific changes in mood after being awarded icon-style attention.
The effects Facebook likes have on our mental well-being have been in the spotlight of various studies for quite a while. This is nor surprising, taking into consideration what social media do to the ways we obtain information, acquire knowledge and communicate, transforming traditional means of interaction with outer world. The scale of this research is relatively modest. Yet, it clearly shows that social media do not always impact our emotional state in a positive manner, Martin Graff from the University of SouthWales says. What’s more, adverse influence can come into action even in case with something as desirable as Facebook likes, which have already been famed in legends of our hi-tech era.
Findings of the study will be shared with a scientific community at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference, which will be held in Brighton later this week.
Obviously, it’s not the first time official science comes to the agreement with numerous systems of philosophy regarding the issue of happiness and harmony. Those concepts should be searched for in the inner life first.
In context of Facebook likes, these days it won’t be wise to underestimate them. After all, those thumbs, hearts and smiling faces serve as a handy indicator of various internet based activities and events, and there are relevant studies for that as well. As it has always been, the trick is in human’s attitude and we should expect this to stay this way, at least up into the foreseeable future.