A social psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Jonah Berger, asserts that in social media, the reaction is what matters and those who use social media don’t want their friends to see their depression, anger or dull life. In a sense, people tend to share what is happier and lighter on social media. Image the situation. If someone shares all his depression and anger overly frequently, he might be identified as a loser or the weak. What if most people fail to talk about their worries? What if most people tend to digest their problems alone?
Do you judge other people’s lives chiefly based on the limited information on the posts on social media? It has been proved that more than half of the high-profile people on social media are often those who are desperate to secure people’s recognition. They demand attention much like as people need oxygen. When it comes to selfies, countless people use photo-editing software to make themselves look unrealistically attractive or beautiful by altering their skins or even features. Conducted in interviews from people ranging from ages 28–73, this Huffington Post article found that “60% of people using social media reported that it has impacted their self-esteem in a negative way, 50% reported social media having negative effects on their relationships, and 80% reported that is easier to be deceived by others through their sharing on social media”
Increasing numbers of academic studies found that mental health problems coincide with the prevalence of social media. Teenagers are suffering from peer pressure to “keep up with their peer group” so as not to be socially excluded, isolated or marginalized.
Rates of stress, anxiety and depression are rising sharply among teenage girls in the past decade. In England, around 17,500 teenage girls committed self-harm over the past decade. As reported, teenage girls are suffering from peer pressure, and they are struggling with low “body dissatisfaction” and low self-esteem.
Use of social media was also contributing to a growing culture of sleep deprivation among young people, which potentially triggers mental health problems and chronic illness such as diabetes.
We only get a small snippet of people’s daily lives, either on social media or offline. Life is not all roses. Everyone goes through something tough or challenging in life. Everyone has their problems to solve, either relationship issues, career crisis, or whatever. Generally speaking, people are unwilling to expose their weakness and imperfection on social media. People are unwilling to share their vulnerabilities, failures or life troubles on social media. People want to be loved, accepted or even envied. That’s why they tend to share something they are proud of, or something they are able to brag about.People are faced with constant false images ‘perfect’ lives” or ‘perfect’ bodies. If you go through most people’s lives on social media, you’d think everyone is living their best life as ever. Naïve people who have a limited social circle might suppose that they are the only ones who deal with problems and challenges in life. That’s why social media indeed distort people’s perception of other people’s real lives.