Researchers from the University of Surrey in England found that people who “excessively” used Facebook were more likely to self-report poor physical health.
From a survey of 165 Facebook users, the one specific type of social comparison linked to more physical symptoms was the positive feeling of seeing someone better off.
“The positive upward comparison relationship in this study shows that the participants were feeling hopeful and inspired but at the same time were aware of worse physical health,” she wrote. “It is also possible that those who had more physical symptoms tended to engage in more positive upward comparison to be more like the better-off target. This may be a coping strategy and would account for why those engaging in upward comparison would also be more aware of their symptoms.”
Moreover, the more survey respondents said they felt that Facebook was part of their lives, the more physical ailments they perceived personally.