The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Facebook envy: Isolation in a crowd

Statuses, profile pictures, memes and those pictures you took when you went to that place you’ve been talking about for weeks — shared.

Facebook has become an enormous part of our everyday social networking, defining how we interact with friends and family. Our generation was able to communicate without Facebook because it was created during our high school years.

However, younger generations have grown up with Facebook, developing a sense of detachment from interaction with the outside world.

In Germany, a study was recently released by Berlin’s Humboldt University and Darmstadt’s Technical University stating that Facebook has created a sense of “social envy” among users and can lead to an increased feeling of isolation and lack of satisfaction with one’s life.

Dr. Hanna Krasnova of Humboldt University conducted two studies composed of 600 Facebook users. Her findings revealed that Facebook does stir up intense feelings of envy.

Furthermore, the study also revealed that users who communicate infrequently through Facebook but read the posts and click through the pictures of others tend to be less satisfied with their lives.

So the question is as follows: is this study actually worthwhile, or is it completely far-fetched?

In my opinion, this study could go both ways. I have felt a sense of envy while flipping through the photos of my friend’s vacations to tropical islands and posts about their exciting lives as I’m sitting on my couch eating Ben and Jerry’s and watching re-runs of “How I Met Your Mother.”

But does this create a sense of isolation for me? Not really. It creates a fleeting thought of, “Wow, I wish I could go to Bermuda for my vacation and look that good in a bikini.” Then I go back to my ice cream.

However, I see how people may feel isolated. Seeing how many “likes” a person receives on a post compared to your own can make users feel like what they have posted is not worthy of that little red number.

“Facebook has made me sometimes feel like my social life is inadequate,” said senior Caroline Loftus. “I compare my social life to friends who go to larger schools and see these raging parties that they go to.

“Also, most days I feel that my day-to-day life isn’t interesting enough to put on Facebook.”

This virtual reality that we have created for ourselves — not just Facebook but the internet as a whole — can be damaging to the overall happiness of a person.

“People who project their information on Facebook seem to be seeking validation for relationships, political attitudes and other aspects of their lives,” said senior Tali Raphael.

“I do not compare myself to others on Facebook or in real life because I have never felt comparable in that way. However, I can understand how this isolation could occur if you are envious, and that envy turns into self-loathing.”

Facebook has created this virtual reality that most of us have become accustomed to. It is how we communicate with one another, express ourselves and brag about or validate what we do on a daily basis. Facebook envy is both a real and misunderstood concept, and because of this, more people are feeling isolated from the world we live in today.

If this feeling of isolation continues because of social networking, where will we be in five years?

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *