i think your avatar is better than my avatar

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The study was done and Facebook envy is, indeed, real. Perhaps you have already suspected this to be so, perhaps you have already experienced this to be so. The German study, “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction?,” states that Facebook produces, “a basis for social comparison and envy on an unprecedented scale,” and that, “the spread and ubiquitous presence of envy on Social Networking Sites is shown to undermine users’ life satisfaction.” Powerful words!

According to the study, the 30 billion pieces of content shared each month create a narrowed down 13 emotional responses from respondents. 43.8% experienced positive emotions: joyful/fun, satisfied, informed, excited + relaxed. 36.9% experienced negative emotions: bored, angry, frustrated, guilty, tired, sad, lonely + envious.

Facebook users actively engage in social comparison, e.g.: how many birthday wishes a friend received on their Facebook wall or how many “friends” their friends have. Women were more focused upon physical attractiveness and sociability while people in their mid-thirties are more likely to envy family happiness.

The fact that people’s avatars are a narcissistic self-presentation has been well researched and well documented. If you would like to keep social networking as a part of your life, then make sure it’s an enjoyable part! To do this, you must moderate for yourself how much is too much and know when to step away.

The next time you find yourself drawn to any social networking platform, pay attention to how it makes you feel and make sure that you’re getting what you’re looking for!

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About Jodi Rubin, ACSW, LCSW, CEDS

Jodi graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY at New Paltz and earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from New York University. In addition to over a decade of work as an LCSW and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with individuals, families and groups in her private practice, Jodi is a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer and created Destructively Fit®, a training that addresses eating disorders within the fitness industry. She is a former director of Day Treatment at The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders and a founding member of Metropolitan Psychotherapy and Family Counseling Practice. Jodi also specializes in infertility and has served on the Clinical Advisory Board of Seleni Institute since its inception. Jodi is the creator of a curriculum on eating disorders for the Graduate School of Social Work at New York University and has been teaching this course, as well as guest lecturing in the NYU Post-Master’s Program, since 2007. Jodi actively lectures and teaches students, families and professionals throughout the metropolitan area about the etiology, prevention, treatment, assessment and work with eating disorders. Through psychotherapy and supportive work with adolescents, adults and families, Jodi works to create a secure sense of self, increased self-esteem and a healthy relationship with self and others. She works with an eclectic person-centered approach and tailors her practice techniques to the unique needs of each individual. Please feel free to contact Jodi directly in her Greenwich Village office, 212.529.5811. View all posts by Jodi Rubin, ACSW, LCSW, CEDS

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