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Social media drives jealousy, leaves people feeling upset

Press Trust of India  |  Moscow 

Social media sites such as Facebook make people feeling negative, according to a new research which shows that users get jealous when they see the seemingly happier lives of their online friends.

The hunt for likes plays a central role in this, with the majority of people feeling down or upset when they do not get as many likes as they expect for a post and with 42 per cent saying they feel jealous when their friends get more likes than them, researchers said.

In a survey of 16,750 people worldwide, researchers from Kaspersky Lab in Russia showed people's frustration with social media.

People often experience negative emotions after spending time on social media due to a variety of reasons and these overpower the positive effects of social media.

Consumers visit social media for positive reasons and to feel good. Most people (65 per cent) use social networks to stay in touch with friends and colleagues and to see entertaining and funny posts (60 per cent).

People also devote a significant amount of time to creating their digital profile and filling it with all kinds of positive moments, posting things that make them smile (61 per cent) and telling their networks about the great time they are having during holidays and vacations (43 per cent).

While it is not surprising that 72 per cent of people are annoyed by advertising that has become extremely intrusive and interrupts their online communications, the reasons for frustration go deeper.

Despite the desire to feel good from their interactions on social media, when people see their friend's happy posts about holidays, hobbies and parties, they are often left with the bitter feeling that other people are enjoying life more than them.

For example, 59 per cent have felt unhappy when they have seen friend's posts from a party they were not invited to and 45 per cent revealed that their friend's happy holiday pictures have had a negative influence on them.

Furthermore, 37 per cent also admitted that looking at past happy posts of their own can leave them with the feeling that their own past was better than their present life.

Previous research has also demonstrated people's frustration with social media as 78 per cent admitted that they have considered leaving social networks altogether.

The only thing that makes people stay on social media is the fear of losing their digital memories, such as photos, and contacts with their friends.

"Our relationship with social media has developed into a vicious cycle. We want to go onto our favourite social platforms to tell all of our connections about the positive things we are doing - that makes us feel good," said Evgeny Chereshnev from Kaspersky Lab.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 10 2017. 13:13 IST