A new study find that studying one's Facebook profile boosts his or her self-esteem after a crushing blow to the ego.
"The conventional wisdom is that Facebook use is merely a time sink and leads to an assortment of negative consequences," lead researchers Jeff Hancock, a professor of communication at Cornell University, told Agence France-Presse. "But our research shows that it can be a psychologically meaningful activity that supplies a sense of well-being at a relatively deep level."
The study of 88 undergraduates included the subjects giving a brief speech. Awaiting feedback on the speech, subjects were given time to view Facebook and look at either their own profile or others for a few minutes. The subjects were then given negative feedback about the speech (all were given negative feedback whether their efforts were good or not.) When asked to rate the feedback, those who looked at their own profile were less defensive than those who looked at other profiles.
For researchers, this means spending time looking at one's own profile is a way to self-soothe after a harrowing ego-bruising from the boss or others, or "restore deep-seated notions of themselves as a good person loved by a network of friends and family."
While we think that's some rather huge leaps in logic based on a relatively small and simple study, perhaps it also tells us that a person's persona on Facebook may be largely positive rather than negative. We have all witnessed friends on Facebook who seem to be having the best time and vacation, but not so much when they are having bouts of self-doubt. Perhaps this also works on the individual creating this image.