(WBBH) -- Many Facebook users have friends who tend to complain and post negative thoughts and feelings on their wall.
Florida Gulf Coast University nursing student Jenna Crawford says she's curious about the emotions behind those posts.
"They are just trying to reach out to people or looking for attention," Crawford said.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo say it boils down to low self-esteem and a cry for help.
Psychology researcher Amanda Foster helped author the study that recorded status updates over time from those who had low self-esteem and found them to be mostly negative.
According to the study, negative posts didn't make people feel any better about themselves - nor did others sympathize much.
In fact, it made the negative users became less likeable to their Facebook friends.
Psychiatrist Omar Rieche says he sees people of all ages are using social media to release emotion and it's no substitute for dealing with what is upsetting them.
"People can become detached from reality if they are not dealing with their issues in a constructive way," Rieche said.