Thursday, October 27, 2016

i think your avatar is better than my avatar

The study was done and Facebook envy is, indeed, real. Perhaps you have already suspected this to be so, perhaps you have already experienced this to be so. The German study, “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction?,” states that Facebook produces, “a basis for social comparison and envy on an unprecedented scale,” and that, “the spread and ubiquitous presence of envy on Social Networking Sites is shown to undermine users’ life satisfaction.” Powerful words!

According to the study, the 30 billion pieces of content shared each month create a narrowed down 13 emotional responses from respondents. 43.8% experienced positive emotions: joyful/fun, satisfied, informed, excited + relaxed. 36.9% experienced negative emotions: bored, angry, frustrated, guilty, tired, sad, lonely + envious.

Facebook users actively engage in social comparison, e.g.: how many birthday wishes a friend received on their Facebook wall or how many “friends” their friends have. Women were more focused upon physical attractiveness and sociability while people in their mid-thirties are more likely to envy family happiness.

The fact that people’s avatars are a narcissistic self-presentation has been well researched and well documented. If you would like to keep social networking as a part of your life, then make sure it’s an enjoyable part! To do this, you must moderate for yourself how much is too much and know when to step away.

The next time you find yourself drawn to any social networking platform, pay attention to how it makes you feel and make sure that you’re getting what you’re looking for!

Jodi Rubin, ACSW, LCSW

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