How Facebook can make you fat

Researchers find social networks can ratchet up self esteem, lower self control

Researchers say new studies show that taking part in online social networks like the 1 billion-member strong Facebook can lead to users exhibiting less self control.

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According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research: "Using online social networks can have a positive effect on self-esteem and well-being. However, these increased feelings of self-worth can have a detrimental effect on behavior. Because consumers care about the image they present to close friends, social network use enhances self-esteem in users who are focused on close friends while browsing their social network. This momentary increase in self-esteem leads them to display less self-control after browsing a social network,"

For more on this research: Keith Wilcox (Columbia University) and Andrew T. Stephen (University of Pittsburgh). "Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control." Journal of Consumer Research: June 2013. For more information, contact Keith Wilcox ( or visit

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