Research claims social media could be damaging our mental health

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  • A new survey suggests that social media could be damaging our mental health.

    Research by Privilege Home Insurance estimates that seven million adults feel inadequate when faced with snaps of their friends’ fancy lifestyles on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    And it’s not just as easy as going cold turkey either. Apparently over half of people wouldn’t quit their favourite networks in case they missed out on gossip.

    For the selfie fans out there it might not shock you to learn that a whopping nine out of 10 people even ‘tweak’ images to make themselves look better before posting online, with others even doing their hair and applying makeup specifically for the shot.

    It’s been well documented that people may be getting a hit of endorphins from getting ‘likes’, ‘retweets’ and ‘shares’, but what about when it goes the other way? The research says 10% of people who fail to get any reaction from followers on social media feel deflated.

    The pressure doesn’t stop there, because apparently social media etiquette is now a thing too. Twenty five per cent of people admitted that they feel obliged to send birthday wishes over Twitter or Facebook, even if they’ve already said it face to face. And then there’s the tricky balance between work life and personal life, with a fifth of people saying they wouldn’t be able to turn down a friend request from a colleague, even if they really didn’t like them.

    If you love having a ‘Facebook stalk’ then you’re in good company. An overwhelming majority of 60% admit that they have a little nosey at ex-lovers, friends and colleagues in private. Worringly, one in 10 people have been sacked or disciplined for their actions on social media, with a fifth regretting what they post after drinking.

    Privilege Home Insurance chief Dan Simson said: ‘People increasingly seem to be basing how they see their popularity on superficial interactions and measures such as “likes”.’