Sitting in my hotel room last month, I thought, “Will I look like a total braggart if I post these vacation pictures on Facebook?” I’m always torn between those who say they’d like me to share summer getaways and my fear of looking like a nine-alarm narcissist on Facebook.
It’s a bit late, but I now have my answer. Those pictures should have stayed in my phone. Two studies released this month show I’m damaging people’s self-esteem and ruining my relationships by posting pictures of myself on far-flung shores. A University of Michigan study found that the more people used Facebook, the worse they felt about themselves. It stands to reason. Sitting by yourself on a computer looking at other people having a good time is about as healthy as binging on Pop Tarts. It even has a name: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Meanwhile, four UK universities teamed up for a study called “Tagger’s Delight” (oh you cheeky Brits), which found that people are sick of looking at your Facebook photos and you might actually be hurting relationships by overposting. “This is because people, other than very close friends and relatives, don’t seem
to relate well to those who constantly share
photos of themselves,” a researcher said.
I don’t have a background in psychology.
But I will solve these problems right now. The cure for FOMO is to stop stalking your friends on Facebook and live a little. Get off your duff, and go to the beach already. The cure for “Tagger’s Delight” is to stop bragging about every fabulous thing you wear and place you go. You’re
inadvertently annoying people, so stop it. Put down your electronic doohickey and have fun without feeling
obligated to tell the world about it.
@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther