You Facebook Stalk Your Most Pathetic Friends When You’re Sad

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A new study shows that we’re all sad when it comes to social media. Experiencing FOMO is way too easy when there are hundreds of other options, whether you’re comparing your weekend plans, or your entire life. Seriously, how is everyone on Facebook on vacation all the time? I’ll never figure it out. Said study shows that when you’re in a bad mood, you’re most likely to go directly to the most depressing FB friend you have. You know the one– she’s an expert vaguebooker who posts long, dreary updates on her life like, “Boyfriend broke up with me today, so I started crying, walked into a puddle of mud that destroyed my brand new sneakers, and my ex was watching the whole thing and laughed.” It’s a welcome departure from the rest of your friends on tropical vacations, who are constantly getting engaged after gorgeous photo shoots in pumpkin patches with perfect filters.

Researchers at Ohio State University published their study in Computers in Human Behavior. The researchers used positive and negative reinforcement to put the students in good or bad moods. Side note: I would love it if a scientist could put me in a good mood immediately. Afterwards, the students reviewed “SocialLink,” which they were told was a new Facebook type site. Unlike the real FB, it was a brutally honest site that had fake profiles that were ranked from 0 to 5 based on attractiveness and their success as human beings/in their careers. The researchers looked at how long the students spent creeping on each profile, and those that were in bad moods spent the most time lurking on the sad pages.

It’s unclear if people felt any better about their own lives after looking at the sad profiles. Whether it made them feel better or worse, as long as you don’t let yourself become the most depressing person out of your Facebook friends, you’re golden. Even better? As long as you never accidentally like someone’s post from 3 years ago, you’ll never truly be the most pathetic person on social media.

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