Users of Facebook and other social networks should beware of allowing their self-esteem - boosted by "likes" or positive comments from close friends - to influence their behavior: It could reduce their self-control both on and offline, according to an academic paper by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia Business School that has recently been published online in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Titled "Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control," the research paper demonstrates that users who are focused on close friends tend to experience an increase in self-esteem while browsing their social networks; afterwards, these users display less self-control. Greater social network use among this category of users with strong ties to their friends is also associated with individuals having higher body-mass indexes and higher levels of credit-card debt, according to the paper.
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