“Using online social networks can have a positive effect on self-esteem and well-being. However, these increased feelings of self-worth can have a detrimental effect on behavior,” said researchers Keith Wilcox of Columbia University and Andrew Stephen of the University of Pittsburgh. “Because consumers care about the image they present to close friends, social network use enhances self-esteem in users who are focused on close friends while browsing their social network. This momentary increase in self-esteem leads them to display less self-control after browsing a social network.”

In other words, social media users had more self-esteem after using networks like Facebook. However, that momentary improvement in self-esteem lowered their self-control and led them to indulge in a number of negative behaviors.

In particular, the researchers found that social media users were more likely to binge eat and have a higher body-mass index. Frequent Facebook users also were more likely to have certain financial problems, including a lower credit score and higher levels of debt.