Social Media obsession is ruining your life, study says

Social media likes are ruining your life — and now there’s proof.

About 58% of people surveyed said “posting the perfect picture has prevented them from enjoying life experiences.” Sound familiar? Trying to get that perfect concert photo, or just the right sunset pic sometimes interferes with enjoying the experience itself.

For Maxfield, the impetus for the study was personal — on his 60th birthday, he took his nieces out boogie boarding, but was more focused on capturing the moment than living in it.

“I was kind of ignoring my nieces in order to get a trophy of our time together,” Maxfield tells.

Grenny and Maxfield dub this kind of social media “trophy hunting,” because it goes beyond wanting to capture a nice moment. “They want to kill it and stuff it and put it on their wall,” Maxfield says.

About 91% of the respondents said they’ve witnessed tourists miss a great moment because they were trying to capture it for social media. Many of that same 91% admits to doing the same thing themselves.
“While trying to capture and post my daughter’s dance event, I completely missed it,” a respondent in the survey said. “She asked me, ‘Did you see me?’ and I really didn’t. It was awful.”

Three out of four people admitted to being rude or distant because they focus more on their phones than people, while one out of four said they’ve let their smartphones disturb “intimate” moments.

It even creeps into our sense of self-preservation. Nearly 14% of respondents say they’ve risked their own safety to get a like-worthy post. 14% of respondents say they’ve risked their own safety to get a like-worthy post. That’s basically the concept behind “do it for the Vine,” which isn’t always a great idea.

“I’ve seen people dodge cars, tourists and pedestrians to get a quick selfie in the midst of busy Hollywood Blvd. – only to yell out ‘Noooo!’ on the curb when they realized it didn’t turn out,” a respondent said.
Sadly, selfies have turned deadly in the past.

Striving for the perfect social media “moment” has also crept into parenting.

“I disciplined my son and he threw a tantrum that I thought was so funny that I disciplined him again just so I could video it,” a mother of a three-year-old said in the survey. “After uploading it on Instagram I thought, ‘What did I just do?’”

Photo: Jean Francois-gornet
Photo: Jean Francois-gornet

About 79% of respondents said they’ve seen parents “undermine their own experience in a child’s life” in order to get a super likable post.

“‘Likes’ are a low-effort way of producing a feeling of social well-being that takes more effort to get in the real world,” Grenny says in the study.

The co-authors also found that constantly hunting for the right social media moment correlates to low happiness.
“You may have more friends, you may have more likes [and] you’ll check your accounts more, but you’re actually going to feel empty,” Maxfield says.

After all the warnings, Grenny and Maxfield offer solutions for the social media-obsessed out there. Scroll to the bottom of the infographic for their four top tips for beating your addiction.

The article was originally published at Mashable.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

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