To compare yourself with others on social media can affect your mental health, new research shows.
Perfect bodies, dream jobs and idyllic holidays. Social media such as Facebook can often seem to be an outlet for success in life.
Many have experienced feeling unsuccessful or insufficient when comparing themselves with others Facebook updates.
Now new research shows that such social comparison can be directly harmful.
A researcher at the University of Houston, Mai-Ly Steers, has investigated why Facebook may negatively affect our mental health. The study is published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
- One danger is that Facebook often gives us information about friends that we normally do not have knowledge of. This gives us more opportunities to socially compare us with them, says Steers to ScienceDaily.
Steers emphasizes that Facebook and depression can not be equated.
- It does not mean that Facebook necessarily leads to depression. But a depressed mood, a lot of time on Facebook and to compare with others, tend to go hand in hand, says Steers.
Unfortunately it is not easy to quit social comparisons, although one is aware of it.
- You can not really control the impulse to compare, because you never know what your friends wants to post. In addition, most tend to talk about the positive things in their lives, and omit the negative. This may lead us to believe that their lives are better than they are, and make us feel that we have a worse life than we have, says Steers.
She hopes the findings of the study may lead to people who are prone to depression, in the future are advised not to spend so much time on Facebook.
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