Researchers recently found that social media is making people feel wretched, users feeling worse after scrolling through their social accounts than before going online. One of the main reasons why the online social environment is toxic is basic human nature. People only post about the good things in their lives all the while comparing their selves with the virtual personas of their friends.
People Use Social Media to Brag, Not Show Off their Routine Activities
Even though most social media users know that the grass is not necessarily bigger on the other side, people can’t stop but compare themselves with friends when it comes to luxurious possessions, fabulous hobbies, and Instagramable moments.
To understand just how social media screws with human emotions, researchers compared the number of tweets related to golf and those describing the laborious process of washing dishes. Although the average American spends significantly more time doing the dishes than perfecting their golf swing, there are two times more golf-related tweets in the online environment than mentions about freshly-cleaned dishes.
Even more, owners of high-end vehicles are about three times more likely to show off their Mercedes or BMW on social media than individuals driving average cars. The same rule applies to music, as well. Even though Spotify Insights showed both males and females listen to Rihanna and Katy Perry, the two singers have considerable more female “likes” on social media, men preferring to keep to Roar in secret.
In the 21st century, social media has become the principal environment of communication, being 100 times easier to raise awareness on a social or health matter in the online medium than by traditional methods. However, it’s all about the glamor. For example, about 10 percent of the US population suffers from migraines or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
People with migraines are benefiting from support, patients being more educated about their disease than before. Unfortunately, IBS is not chic enough to encourage patients to talk about it openly, users keeping their digestive issues for themselves.
Social media is connecting people more than ever before, but it’s also creating a new kind of superficiality that severely influences the mental well-being of the same people that made it popular in the first place. So next time you feel bad after seeing a series of perfect vacation pictures, try to take into account the possibility that the stars of those images may have spent more time coming up with Instagramable moments than actually having fun. Most times, the grass is withered and Photoshopped.
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