Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have just released their findings in a recent Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) study. It turns out that narcissism adversely affects your ability to do math. Well, something like that. What the study found was that Facebook users who spend five minutes editing or viewing their own profile risk instilling in themselves a measure of complacency.


Very few people make themselves look bad on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), whether consciously or unconsciously people carefully curate their social lives when posting online. Think of how many times you’ve uploaded a photo of yourself that catches you at your worse? How often do you post less than flattering information in a status update? It’s just something that isn’t done by most users of social media.

The researchers began with having 159 undergraduate students spend five minutes either clicking through their own profile or a strangers. Following this exercise the participants in the study were given another test, this one designed to measure the self-esteem of those in the study. The second test gave the 159 a list of positive and negative adjectives and asked which applied to them. Following this, the researchers asked them to participate in an “unrelated” study of cognitive ability where they were asked to count down from 1,978 by seven as fast as they could for two minutes.

Of course, the two studies weren’t unrelated at all but rather designed to see if the well-manicured profile that most users make for themselves had a negative effect. It did. While those who viewed their own profiles for the five minutes did show higher self-esteem results, they were 15 percent slower in the subtraction exercise consequently completing considerably less work.

The researchers thus concluded that the study shows that those with higher self-esteem feel less of a need to accomplish other things. That they were bored with the idea of a simple math test rather than focusing on themselves showed that a “false profile” while making you look better, ultimately reduces the efficiency of those who live this “lie.”

At the end of the day, if you have a “to-do” list that needs your attention or a tax return that needs to be filed, it’s best done on a day where you aren’t spending time curating your social life.