Facebook, Instagram ... and the summer you're missing
Photos of Instagram taken on the beaches of Formentera , incredible images of the last vacation in London, some selfies taken in the fashion macrofestivals ...
Let's face it: the interest is not so much in the beauty of what is seen as in the fact of being able to say: "I've been there! " We use social networks as if they were an extension of our body and, as such, we project ourselves into them trying to offer the best possible image. The problem comes, many times, when you see that what others teach is more attractive than what you can teach. Could it be that Instagram and Facebook are enhancing the feeling of envy ?
Question of self-perception
This was discussed in the FOMO Syndrome article: new technologies and the digital age cause a generalized fear of not living life intensely as (it seems) that others do . However, on vacation, this can be exacerbated.
There is more to see the degree to which the photos of the most expensive destinations and the most exclusive locations are viralized. Add another ingredient to this cocktail: the most famous and richest people have the most followers in social networks. But if Twitter or Instagram suggests that we follow them when we have not yet released our new user account!
Even if it is strange, this may mean that you are subject to a continuous burst of ideal summer images make us feel the pressure to achieve experiences comparable to those we see ... just when those images usually convey fun, relaxation and freedom to do what you want.
In part, this is what makes us more and more technological supports that allow us to take photographs anywhere and in almost any condition: smartphones with good built-in cameras, submersible cameras, sticks selfies, etc. A moment not immortalized by means of a photograph is like a moment not lived, because it can not be massively shared by social networks.
But the problem with this is not just that we lack a camera at the right time: is that we need those moments to occur in the desired amount and in the quantities required . It is not enough to experience sensations and pleasant situations: in addition, those experiences that we live must be able to be photographed and they must be able to be recognized by others as something to envy. People will be more impressed with the Iguazu Falls than with photos taken in a massif of Antarctica, however much the second is your favorite destination for this vacation.
Facebook and envy
To what extent is it true that seeing how well others spend it through social networks makes us feel bad? Certainly, it is a somewhat diffuse issue and not too easy to approach scientifically, but there is some evidence to reinforce this idea.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Generalshows in its results that passively use Facebook for a few minutes (scroll vertically to see the publications that are hanging others) enhances the feeling of envy and, with it, reduces emotional well-being .
Other research published in PLOS ONE It reached similar results, and added another interesting fact: face-to-face interactions did not have the same effects on subjective well-being as interactions via Facebook. In fact, they made the participants in the experiment feel better, the opposite of what happened with the use of the social network.
Therefore, this would serve to reject the hypothesis that people feel bad about any form of social interaction. The envy and relative discomfort that seems to have the use of Facebook would be part of the consequences of exposing themselves to images and messages that others have filtered to offer a desirable image of themselves.And it is that, in fact, there is a very negative part in the use of networks: "Depersonalization and (in) communication in social networks"
The doses of Instagram and Facebook, with awareness and in its just measure
Solutions not to go through this? The binomial Facebook - envy It could have deep roots considering the power we have when it comes to shaping the image of us that we want to give on the Internet. In addition, there do not seem to be too many investigations in this regard, which makes it difficult to know which is the best strategy to face this.
However, the most intuitive and probable solution is in take with philosophy the use of Instagram, Twitter and other digital platforms . On the one hand, we can remind ourselves that to believe that what we are seeing is representative of the lives of others would be to fall into a deception. On the other hand, we could, for example, also give us a "vacation" from social networks. In this way it is probable that many more stimulating experiences will come our way, even without looking for them.