ABSTRACT. Recent studies (Chou and Edge, 2012; Crusius and Lange, 2017; Tandoc Jr. et al., 2015; Vogel and Rose, 2016) show that envy is essentially a social emotion driving individuals to react to status threat. As benign/malicious envy, it stimulates conduct in the quest of status contingent on reputation/ascendancy. Individuals who use Facebook laboriously have superior levels of envy as they are exposed to countless personal information from individuals in their networks, i.e. favorable outcomes, material products, beneficial connections, etc. Our empirical data are gathered from replicated surveys regarding technology use and awareness of stressful events in others’ lives (close friends and more distant acquaintances). The social medium should not be held responsible for depression but the reactions that it activates, especially Facebook envy, and that cannot be comprehensively required of all Facebook users. Even though they are predisposed to use the availability heuristic, recurrent Facebook users have more achievable instances from Facebook, being more exposed to an inaccurate perception. Examining other individuals’ positively presented material on Facebook can have detrimental consequences. The material collected in this research offers a substantial and diverse setting for grasping that increasing comparisons on Facebook can generate feelings of envy, the latter being a significant process determining the effect of growing social comparison on psychological well-being.

Keywords: ethics; envy; Facebook; social emotion; psychological well-being

How to cite: Mircică, Nela (2017). “The Ethics of Envy on Facebook,” Analysis and Metaphysics 16: 124–130.

Received 21 May 2017 • Received in revised form 22 September 2017
Accepted 24 September 2017 • Available online 21 November 2017


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