There are mixed feeling about social media. Our children love it. That is, some of our children depending on their ages. I like Facebook because I have found people from high school and college and other places and have re-established contact. If I had known where these people were, I would have re-established contact on my own. But social media allowed this to occur and for that I am grateful.

I love to read what other people are doing. I got some good recipes. The vacation pictures have introduced me to new areas of the world that I’d like to visit. I laugh at some of the posts. And those I find offensive, I delete. It’s like sitting around having coffee with the neighbors.

But a new study out of the University of Queensland in Australia says that our self-esteem is being lowered by being ignored on Facebook. The study, “Threats to Belonging on Facebook: Lurking and Ostracism,” was published by Taylor and Francis Group, an academic book publishing house, and found that if no one “likes’ a person’s post on Facebook, that lack of interaction can lead that person to have a lower self-esteem.

During the first study, the researchers took a group of Facebook users who post items frequently. While being monitored, half of the people in the group were told to remain active on Facebook, posting, sharing and chatting away. The other half of the group were told to be passive on Facebook- not posting, sharing and chatting – rather just observing their friends who were still active on the site.

At the end of the first study, the people who had not posted on Facebook for two days said the experience had a negative effect on their personal well-being.

In the second study, a group of people were given access to anonymous Facebook accounts and were told to post and comment on other people’s Facebook pages as they normally would. Half of this group had no idea that they would not receive any feedback from their interactions on the social site.

In both instances, the participants in this second study were mostly ignored. When asked by researchers how that felt, the participants said they felt “invisible.” Some went as far as saying they felt less important as individuals and had a lower self-esteem after the experience.

As Science Daily noted last week in a synopsis of the report, “the researchers concluded that active participation on Facebook was key in predicting a sense of belonging among social media users.”

I will spare all of you all the things I would normally say about this.