Facebook and Google Page HeadingsHow many times have you Googled yourself this month already? Many people Google themselves regularly to see how they are doing in the search engine rankings. For some people, with a rare name, they are in luck and they are top of the results. For others, with a more common name, they could well be out of luck if their namesake is better at the search engine game.

Last week I met a chap who has a rare combination of first name and last name from two different languages – when he Googles himself he has the entire first 10 pages of results. But if you have a more common name, like Graham Jones for instance, you have to work hard to do well in the search engines because there are plenty of people with that name. (I am the real one, of course…!)

For some people, looking at the Google results for their name can be depressing because other people dominate and no matter what they do, they just can’t seem to beat them. Indeed, for many businesses that is an all-too-common feature of their daily life online. Regardless of what they do, their competitors beat them in the search engines.

Self-Googling can be upsetting, annoying and stress-inducing. For many people, all it confirms is the fact that someone else is “doing better”.

So what is the answer? Thankfully new research has just been published that tells us what to do. Go to Facebook.

It turns out that just checking your own profile on Facebook can significantly increase your self-esteem. But there’s a catch….

If you look at your own Facebook profile and feel good as a  result you are likely to under-perform in subsequent tasks. One of the elements of what we do each day is the boost it provides to self-esteem. We try, subconsciously, to do our best in our daily work because it makes us feel good about ourselves. But if you have just had a boost to your self-esteem, you tend not to try so well in any subsequent tasks – you don’t need to because your self-esteem is already running high.

So, what should you do? Only check Facebook when you don’t have to do anything important AFTERWARDS. Otherwise you will not do it so well.

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