You'd think Facebook would be great for people with low self-esteem because they can share information remotely. Not so. It seems low-self-esteemers behave counterproductively, bombarding their friends with negative tidbits about their lives and making themselves less likeable, according to a new study to be published in Psychological Science.
"We had this idea that Facebook could be a really fantastic place for people to strengthen their relationships," says Amanda Forest of the University of Waterloo.
Researchers investigated what students actually wrote on Facebook. They asked the students for their last 10 status updates, and each set of status updates was rated for how positive or negative it was. For each set of statements, a coder ~ an undergraduate Facebook user ~ rated how much they liked the person who wrote them.
People with low self-esteem were more negative than people with high self-esteem ~ and the coders liked them less. The coders were strangers, but that's realistic, Forest says. Research shows that nearly half of Facebook friends are actually strangers or acquaintances, not close friends.