We all know the type of people that appear to chase likes on Facebook and share endless posts about their seemingly idyllic lives. But it will come as no big shock that new research has found the very individuals who actively seek likes are the ones suffering with low confidence, and no amount of Facebook thumbs up will improve self-esteem.
Researchers from the University of South Wales quizzed 340 participants, who they’d recruited through Facebook and Twitter, on 25 statements focusing on whether social media makes them feel valued.
The statements ranged from “the attention I get from social media makes me feel good” to “I consider someone popular based on the amount of likes they get”.
From the completed questionnaires the team determined that participants who’d said they went out of their way to get more likes, deleted posts and changed their profile picture based on how many likes an image received were more likely to have low self-esteem and be less trusting.
It was further found that getting likes didn’t make people feel better about themselves.
“The proliferation of social media use has led to general concerns about the effects on our mental health,” said study author Dr Martin Graff.
“Although this is just a relatively small scale study the results indicate that the ways we interact with social media can affect how we feel and not always positively.”
Dr Graff’s findings will be presented at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference in Brighton on 3 May 2017.
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