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 people use the hugely popular social networking website, 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 which Facebook users tend to plaster over their pages cumulatively convey a debilitating message to others.
Sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge interviewed 425 undergraduate students about their happiness and that of their friends.
After allowing for gender, religiosity and whether people were single or attached, the study found that 'the more hours people spent on Facebook, the stronger was their agreement that others were happier'.
This was particularly true of Facebook users who stockpiled 'friends' they did not actually know.