Why so­cial me­dia can leave you feel­ing blue

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KAR­ISHMA DIPA kar­ishma.dipa@inl.co.za

WHILE so­cial me­dia plat­forms might have been cre­ated for pos­i­tive rea­sons such as stay­ing in touch with loved ones, sev­eral users have in­sisted that these in­stead leave them feel­ing down.

A large rea­son is that peo­ple be­come over­whelmed with jeal­ousy af­ter go­ing through their friends’ posts on sites such as In­sta­gram, Face­book, Twit­ter and Snapchat.

This is ac­cord­ing to a study by the Kasper­sky Lab, a global cy­ber se­cu­rity com­pany, which in­ter­viewed 16 750 peo­ple around the world.

A to­tal of 42% of par­tic­i­pants ad­mit­ted feel­ing jeal­ous when friends get more likes than them, said Evgeny Cheresh­nev, head of so­cial me­dia at Kasper­sky Lab.

She added that the re­search also showed that peo­ple be­come en­gulfed by the green-eyed mon­ster when they see their friends on so­cial me­dia sites liv­ing a seem­ingly hap­pier life than them.

“De­spite the de­sire to feel good from their in­ter­ac­tions on so­cial me­dia, when peo­ple see their friends’ happy posts about hol­i­days, hob­bies and par­ties, they are of­ten left with the bit­ter feel­ing that other peo­ple are en­joy­ing life more than them,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, 59% of par­tic­i­pants felt glum when they saw their friends’ posts from a party they were not in­vited to, and 45% re­vealed that their friends’ happy hol­i­day pictures have had a neg­a­tive in­flu­ence on them.

Fur­ther­more, 37% said look­ing at past happy posts of their own can leave them with the feel­ing that their own past was bet­ter than their present life.

Cheresh­nev ex­plained that so­cial me­dia users might log on to their favourite sites with good in­ten­tions but in­stead leave feel­ing bleak.

“Our re­la­tion­ship with so­cial me­dia has de­vel­oped into a vi­cious cy­cle. We want to tell all our con­nec­tions about the pos­i­tive things we are do­ing – that makes us feel good. But ev­ery­one is do­ing the same thing, and it looks like they’re en­joy­ing life more than us.”

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