A new study by Utah Valley University looked at the phenomenon generally known as "Facebook depression."
It found that the carefully cultivated image of a happy life by Facebook users - including smiling profile pictures and ubiquitous "best day ever" status updates - can lead some to believe that their friends' lives are better than their own.
Sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge interviewed 425 undergraduate students about their personal happiness and the nature of their Facebook profiles, including the size of their friends list.
According to Chou, "those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives," despite the knowledge that everyone has good and bad days.
The "Facebook depression" phenomenon isn't entirely new - a study in March from the U.S. medical journal Pediatrics found that the website may amplify depression in teens.
Researchers in that study could not agree whether Facebook's effect was an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the site.
When we asked CBC.ca readers whether they thought they suffered from Facebook depression last year, 31 per cent said Yes, 57 per cent said No, and 12 per cent said they weren't sure.
Do you think you suffer from Facebook depression? Do you ever get the sense that your friends' lives are better than your own after browsing dozens of "best vacation ever!" photo albums? Let us know in the comments section below.
(This survey is not scientific. It is based on readers' responses.)
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