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Is Facebook Hurting Your Self-Esteem? [AUDIO]

Facebook is the perfect forum for people to create and idealized view of themselves. But, you can’t always believe everything you read.

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Flickr User Codemaster Snake

Recent studies suggest that self-esteem and Facebook are linked as more and more people find themselves comparing their lives to the lives of their so-called friends.

“This is a natural tendency that people have to compare themselves against others and to maybe even view themselves negatively in regards to others,” said Dr. Steven Tobias, Director of the Center for Child and Family Development in Morristown. “It certainly can be detrimental to your well being if you find yourself constantly comparing your life to others. I think it’s very common for people in general to assume that everyone is leading these wonderful, happy, contented lives and their the only ones who are lonely or isolated or not as accomplished as anyone else.”

“But, you also have to realize that many people are simply controlling their image and making their lives look better than they actually are. So, you have to view everything you’re reading on Facebook with a grain of salt and understand that it isn’t necessarily the whole story,” said Tobias. “If you don’t, it can be detrimental to your self-esteem. There are also other studies coming out that show that Facebook can increase people’s sense of narcissism. It can give people an over-inflated view of themselves and make them think that the world revolves around them. So, we’re seeing both trends.”

Tobias also has concerns that Facebook is becoming a primary form of social interaction.

“It’s not real social interaction. It doesn’t carry the depth of communication that true interpersonal communication entails. So, I think the more people use Facebook, it may harm their emotional status and their social relationships,” said Tobias. “The less real people are, the less honest and deep your relationships with others are going to be.”

“Basically, keep in mind that the less you know the person in real life, the harder it is to have confidence that what you’re seeing on Facebook is the real person,” said Tobias. “Nobody lives a perfect life, so as long as you keep that in mind, you should be just fine.”

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