It seems your Facebook profile represents an idealized version of you to you, one that has the effect of boosting self-esteem when you review it.
A recent study at Cornell University divided 63 students into three groups. All participants were placed in front of a computer- a third in front of their Facebook profiles but no other information, a third in front of a mirror, and a third sitting at a switched off unit. Of the three groups, those who viewed their Facebook profiles for the three minutes of the study measured highest on a self-esteem questionnaire administered immediately following the experiment, while the two other groups showed no increase in self-esteem levels.
The Facebooking third showed an even higher increase in self-esteem when they spent the time editing their profiles. Researchers aren’t sure exactly why the results favored self-Facebooking, but one of them had this to say:
“Unlike a mirror, which reminds us of who we really are and may have a negative effect on self-esteem if that image does match with our ideal, Facebook can show a positive version of ourselves,” said Jeffrey Hancock, associate professor of communication at Cornell University, in a press release. “We’re not saying that it’s a deceptive version of self, but it’s a positive one.”
Further studies in the same vein are planned to examine the findings.