by Lexi Novak
Getty ImagesYou don't need to max out your credit card on a makeover or binge on self-help books to feel better about yourself. Turns out, all you have to do is check Facebook. A new study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports thatvisiting the website may actually trigger positive psychological effects. After viewing their own profiles for just five minutes, participants scored higher on a test that measured their levels of self-esteem.
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Generally speaking, I'm full of haterade when it comes to Facebook. What's to love about a public forum devoted to self-obsession and one-upmanship? But these new findings do make sense. We post carefully curated information about ourselves, we flood our newsfeeds with reminders of fun times, and we publish pictures that we want 937 of our closest friends to see. Visiting our profile for a few minutes is probably the same as thumbing through an old photo album: It just makes us feel good.
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So indulging in a little self-FB stalking isn't such a bad thing after all. Interestingly, the researchers also found that after gazing at their own profile, people actually performed worse on a simple math test. They suggest this may be because a sense of heightened self-worth can decrease motivation. What's the moral of the story? Facebook may boost your self-esteem, so go ahead and log on--but it save it for after work.
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by Lexi Novak