The Facebook Fix: It Makes You Feel Good

Feeling down on yourself? Visiting your Facebook page can make it all better, according to Cornell University research. Social media researchers found that Facebook walls can boost self-esteem.

In a study, 88 undergraduates gave a brief speech and then looked at Facebook profiles—theirs or someone else’s. Next they received negative feedback about their speech (even if it was excellent) and were asked to assess the accuracy of the feedback. Participants who looked at their own Facebook pages were less defensive. You have control over the appearance of your profile, and you can edit what content shows up on your wall–meaning you can leave off anything that has the potential to shed an unfavorable light on you or something you posted. Even further, if you made the speech, your Facebook friends are more likely to post positive feedback or general praise on your wall, creating confidence and a rise in self-esteem.

And in a second experiment, students received negative or positive feedback about their speech and then could browse their own Facebook profiles or websites such as YouTube or news sites. Those who received negative feedback more often chose Facebook.

The takeaway: Your profile, a tangible reminder that friends and family value you, provides emotional armor. 

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