The Psychology of Social Networking

Has social media increased our collective self-obsession, or is it merely a reflection of our current culture?

A new infographic from PsychologyDegree.net highlighting the psychology of social networking calls our selfishness into question, noting that 80 percent of social media posts made are about the poster.

Given human nature and the nature of social media, to some this may come as little surprise. Indeed, Hollywood consistently pokes fun of the self-obsessed, frequently through romantic comedies, which often sets a scene in which an annoying blind date drones on endlessly about themselves while the main character pines for their true love.

But the self-obsession witnessed through social media extends beyond relationship status updates or notes on the poster's life happenings. Research shows that half of social media users that look at photos posted are actually doing so to compare themselves to those in the photos. While the data may be skewed by the desire to one up one's X, it certainly provides concrete evidence as to what fuels our Facebook addiction.

The infographic goes on to suggest that Facebook may actually be contributing to feelings of inadequacy or jealousy, as research indicates that those who spend more time on Facebook are more likely to believe the lives of others are better than theirs. The data implies that social media may be making us more unhappy, and that screening tools aimed at measuring "Facebooking" time could potentially be developed to identify those more at risk of developing mental health or behavioral issues. What scientists will do with this information is unknown; but it is certainly an interesting look at the darker side of social media.

 

Psychology of Social Networking

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