Stacey Vanek Smith Jul 9, 2012

We’ve all been there:  You’re perusing Facebook and you see that one of your old friends from college is publishing a new book/having a baby/going to Africa/wintering with Robert Redford/winning a major award/posing in a bikini with size 0 hips. and you have that horrible sinking feeling that your life is off track and you’re totally inadequate and behind in life (and not just because your last five status updates have had to do with how much amazing stuff you got on sale at Target).  Take heart!  You are not alone.  A survey from the University of Salford in the UK found that about half of the people surveyed said Facebook and Twitter make their lives worse. and that their self-esteem suffers.  Two thirds found it difficult to fully relax or sleep after spending time on social networks (AKA my-ex-boyfriend-is-dating-someone-who-looks-slightly-like-Gisele insomnia).  A quarter cited work or relationship difficulties because of online confrontations #twitterwars. and many feel like they get worried or uncomfortable when they can’t access their Facebook accounts.
If man is a political animal–and engineered to measure him/herself by her place in her community, maybe all of this social networking is putting our brains on overdrive.  We’re suddenly processing our place in communities that are VAST and span the world.  Communities in which we will always fall short in some way or another. 

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