Feeling down about your life? One quick way to cheer yourself up may be to delete your Facebook account.

New research indicates that the more frequently people use the social networking tool, the more they will believe that others are much happier.

The study by Utah Valley University found that the carefully chosen pictures of smiling, cheerful faces that Facebook users plaster over their pages cumulatively convey a debilitating message to others. The study found that “the more hours people spend on Facebook, the stronger is their agreement that others are happier”.

Sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge interviewed 425 students about their happiness and that of their friends. Participants were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with statements such as “Life is fair” and “Many of my friends have a better life than me”.

They described their Facebook activity, including the number of “friends” they had and the proportion whom they actually knew.

About 95 percent used Facebook, and on average they had been users for two and a half years and spent five hours a week on it.

After allowing for gender, religiosity and relationship status, the study found a strong correlation between how long people spent on Facebook and their perception of their relative happiness. This was particularly true of users who stockpiled “friends” they did not really know. – Daily Mail