You’re sitting on the couch in your sweatpants, scrolling through your Instagram feed, looking at your friends’ selfies. All of a sudden, you start to feel like crap about yourself. Well, guess what? A new study says that looking at those selfies may be causing your depression.
In a study titled “Let Me Take a Selfie: Exploring the Psychological Effects of Posting and Viewing Selfies and Groupies on Social Media” published in The Journal of Telematics and Informatics, researchers from Penn State University’s School of Communications found that frequent viewing of other people’s selfies on social media is “linked to decreased self-esteem and life satisfaction.”
According to the study’s lead researcher, Ruoxu Wang, “Someone frequently viewing photos of smiling faces and giddy expressions may question why they aren’t having as good a time as those people. And that can lead to decreased self-esteem and life satisfaction.”
Interestingly, the study also found that looking at group pictures had the opposite effect, resulting in increased self-esteem and life satisfaction. The study explains this: “It is probably because when people view groupies on social media, they feel a sense of community as the groupies they view may also contain themselves.”
Are there any psychological effects for those are posting selfies or group shots? Apparently not – the authors originally thought that it would be posting pics, not viewing them, that would have some kind of psychological outcome, but they were surprised to learn that the effect was on the viewer, not the poster.
As for the point of all this? Wang told The Miami Herald, “From the study, we found that when you’re posting on social media you should be aware that your behavior affects others psychologically.”
Oh, please. I’m not giving up posting selfies to protect your fragile ego – I’m only in this for the likes (and to show off my infrequent good hair days.) You want to feel better? Unfollow me, you delicate flower. .
[via The Miami Herald]