For people who are materialistic, Facebook acts much like a tool to help them achieve their goals – but, this often means comparing themselves with others, and treating friends as 'digital objects.'
This is according to a new study, which surveyed hundreds of Facebook users on their social media activity, tendency toward materialism, and the objectification and instrumentalization of Facebook friends.
The researchers found that materialistic people use Facebook far more frequently than others, and with greater intensity, as a way to achieve goals and feel good about themselves.
For people who are materialistic, Facebook acts much like a tool to help them achieve their goals – but, this often means comparing themselves with others, and treating friends as 'digital objects.' A stock image is pictured
Materialistic people tend to have more friends, compare their lives to others, use their friends as 'digital objects,' the researchers found.
Participants were asked to rate their agreement to the following statements
'I'm posting photographs' – to assess Facebook activity
'I often compare how I am doing socially' – to assess social comparison orientation
'My life would be better if I owned certain things I don't have' – to assess materialism
'Having many Facebook friends contributes more success in my personal and professional life' – to assess objectification of Facebook friends
'To what extent do you think Facebook friends are useful in order to attain your goals?' – to assess instrumentalization of Facebook friends
'Materialistic people use Facebook more frequently because they tend to objectify their Facebook friends – they acquire Facebook friends to increase their possession,' said lead author Phillip