GIVEN that Facebook was launched in 2004, a mere 13 years ago, it is weird that life without it and other social media apps seem almost alien to us already!
Despite the fact that all these apps are free, they do come at a cost.
All the peer pressure, drive to conformity, and the need to impress your friends does not come cheap!
Counterintuitively, the cost does not come from the ads on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter, regardless of how well-targeted they are.
The cost actually comes from the most innocent of things: how the pictures, likes and comments from our friends make us feel.
A study from Colombia Business School and the University of Pittsburgh concluded that heavy Facebook users got a feel-good boost from positive interactions, which inflated their self-esteem.
However, this increased self-esteem actually lowered their self-control and discipline, which is why heavy Facebook users were found to have lower credit scores and higher credit card debt.
If you have 300 Facebook friends – which is not an absurd number – on average, six to 12 of your friends will be on holiday every week of the year.
Although you will see holiday photos from different friends every week on your Facebook feed, it will seem as if all your friends are on holiday all the time, while you are slaving away at work.
Of course, some of those friends will have fabulous holidays for which they saved a few years and they will be the ones that post the most.
No wonder you feel a cringe of jealousy and you promise yourself a similar trip.
Meanwhile, on Pinterest, you are quickly reaching a mindset in which you want to buy, buy, buy.
An analysis of over 700 million shopping sessions which started on social media revealed that Pinterest users spend the most, with an average of US$170 per transaction, easily beating Facebook (US$95) and Twitter (US$71) per session.
It seems Pinterest doesn’t bring the DIY beast out in all of us.
Finally, there is also bad news for those of you on Instagram.
A study revealed that in order to impress peers and to fish for compliments, we are more likely to buy fancy-looking cocktails and premium liquors.
These drinks will then feature heavily in our pictures, whilst we have photos of ourselves having a really great time with our best friends and build our very own digital brands around ourselves.
It also won’t be the first time a perfectly made coffee or dish has turned cold – and much less delicious – as you snap shot after shot with a multitude of filters in order to share the beauty of the drink or dinner with your friends on the other side of the wall.
Moral of the story: realise our social media feeds are very biased to all things in life that are happy and pretty and awesome and lovely, while reality is somewhat grimmer.
Perhaps keep your credit card tucked away when you browse online and just enjoy the party and care less about what other people think of you?
The truth is other people think much less often about you than you would imagine anyway.
[Source:-The Star Online]