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Facebook can temporarily improve your self-esteem when you focus on close friends, here’s the bad news: Enhanced self-esteem actually reduces your self-control when you make decisions, like choosing a snack, after browsing.
Researchers surveyed 470 people about their Internet and Facebook use, plus their health and financial behaviors offline. The results: Frequent users with strong friend ties had an approximate BMI of 26, while infrequent Facebookers had an approximate BMI of 24. (A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy.) High use was also linked to an increase in binge eating.
If the possibility of gaining a few extra pounds isn’t enough to curb your hunger for Facebook, the study also showed that the inverse relationship between high self-esteem and self-control plays a role in your finances. Frequent Facebook users who focused on close friends had about $1,000 more credit card debt than infrequent users.
“A bit of self-awareness can help you avoid engaging in this behavior. Facebook is not the problem. It’s the feeling of entitlement that’s the problem.”