A recent study, conducted by researchers at two German universities, found that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) can trigger feelings of loneliness and misery, and it causes envy in users. The researchers said people become envious of their virtual friends by viewing their vacation photos, happy love lives and work successes on the social networking site.

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The research was conducted jointly by Humboldt University and Darmstadt’s Technical University. It proves that rampant envy on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is a real thing. According to study, one in every three Facebook users felt less satisfied with their own life after visiting the social networking site. People who don’t post any updates or photos, but still read about their friends, are the worst affected. Facebook has more than one billion users today, and it has created a solid platform for social comparison.

What’s the biggest cause of this Facebook envy? Those vacation photos. Hanna Krasnova, researcher at the Institute of Information Systems of Humboldt University said vacation snaps were the No.1 cause of resentment, as they triggered more than 50 percent of the envy incidents. The second most common cause was social interaction. People tend to compare how many “Likes” or comments their photos and updates receive to those of their Facebook friends.

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” said Hanna Krasnova. Frustrated, some people either stop logging in to the site or at least reduce their use. People envy the way their virtual friends socialize, spend their lives and show their happiness, said the report, “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction?”

Researchers warned that this ubiquitous presence of envy can undermine people’s life satisfaction. The study reveals that men in their mid-30s are envious of others’ family happiness, while women envy the physical attractiveness of their virtual friends. Sometimes, this envy prompts users to exaggerated about their achievements on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to display themselves in a better position. In such cases, men post self-promotional stuff about their accomplishments, while women stress their social lives and good looks.

The research was conducted on 600 people, and the findings will be presented during a conference in Germany in February.