SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – As the Buddha once said: “He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.”
But Buddha never had a Facebook account.
Envy is a prime motivator for Facebook posts, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.
The researchers found that a desire to “keep up with the Joneses” is what drives many Facebook users to post glamorous photos and put their best foot forward on social media.
“Social media participation has been linked to depression, anxiety and narcissistic behavior, but the reasons haven’t been well-explained,” explained study author Isak Benbasat.
The researchers surveyed people about their Facebook habits and the feelings they have when using the social media platform.
They were asked if they felt envious of others’ posts and pictures, about a quarter of the respondents said yes.
The study found the most envy-inducing posts are travel photos.
Benbasat explained that others see the pictures and start to feel jealous. That prompts them to post their own travel photos or boastful status updates, which can spread the envious feelings far and wide.