Friday, January 25, 2013

The Secret To Happiness

Your local newspaper may carry a wee story about - say - Mrs Cecilia Snagglebothom, who lives in the local rest home and has just turned 100.
"What's your secret to happiness, Cecilia?" asks an eager young journalist. And Cecilia may cite a litre of sherry every evening, loving grand-children...anything relevant that she feels may have prolonged her life.
You will never hear a centenarian say: "Well, deary, my century of happiness is all due to Facebook!"
Real people do NOT spend every waking moment on Facebook. And those who DO live vicariously are now suffering from the latest modern malady: social media envy.
Yeup, it's a real thing! German researchers report that Facebook can create negative feelings in envious users - especially over holiday pix!
Researchers from two German universities found that looking at Facebook may cause you to see green. "Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users' Life Satisfaction?" is based on a survey of 600 people in Germany. The study says one in three people feel less satisfied with their lives after browsing Facebook. People who don't post at all, but still read about their friends' lives, fare the worst.
The No.1 culprit of Facebook envy? Friends sharing vacation and travel photos. The second most common cause of upset is social interaction, which includes birthday greetings, and likes and comments on photos and posts. Other things that bring out the green-eyed monster: family happiness (which is most resented by people in their mid-30s) and physical attractiveness (which tends to bug women).
Will the real people please stand up?
The study also found people react to these feelings of jealousy by posting about achievements. Wow. People trying to make themselves look better on Facebook? No shit, Sherlock!
When blowing their own horns, men are more likely to brag about their accomplishments while women raved about their looks and social lives.
The good news: there IS a solution. If you wish to avoid social media envy in your life, simply switch off Facebook. Talk to REAL people. Maybe even read about the life of Mrs Cecilia Snagglebothom? It'd be more REAL than those of the 5,327 'friends' on Facebook...

No comments: