WHAT do you go on social media for? To see how your friend’s baby is going? To catch up on your mate’s latest trip to Europe? Or maybe to gloat about the awesome things in your life you think will impress others?
Now don’t try and deny it, we all know the answer’s the last one.
We know that you only go on to post your latest photo of you doing some daring activity or at some exotic location with the hopes that at least 20 people will like your photo.
It should come as no surprise then, that rejection on social media is causing us mental hell.
New research by the University of Queensland shows our rejection on social media makes us feel “invisible”, excluded and less important than our online buddies who receive a few more thumbs ups.
This conclusion came from two studies. The first one had half the group posting to Facebook, while the other half were only allowed to browse their feeds, stalk their crushes and watch comments flow without being able to join in the conversation. This made them feel “invisible”.
The other study allowed the test subjects to use Facebook to their heart’s content, to post endless selfies and to post as many statuses as they desired. However, half of these people had their accounts set up so they couldn’t receive any likes, comments or essentially any recognition from anyone else. These people reinforced the trend of feeling invisible, less important and excluded.
It may or may not have been intentional when it was created, but social media now has the majority of us trapped.
We feel trapped because we fear social rejection and loneliness if not enough people respond to our own posts. It’s as though we are denied the chance to portray the version of ourselves which we would like our our friends and family to see.
P.S. I actually go on social media so I can see what others are up to in their exciting lives after 5pm (post work for people who work for themselves is virtually non-existent!)… and to get some great insight/ideas about what people are keen on at any point in time (vital for someone who works for themselves!).