Using social media increases our natural tendency to compare ourselves. How does this affect our well-being?
Comparing ourselves to people who are worse off than we are on social media should make us feel better. The opposite is true.
2021 was another unpredictable year and there’s no sign of life returning to normal just yet – but here are the digital trends you can expect in 2022.
The cute economy is not only a network of cute content that people participate in making, sharing and circulating but also a multibillion-dollar business.
If sharing cute animal content is your love language, you’re not alone — you are part of a bigger cultural phenomenon called the cute economy.
Facebook renamed itself Meta in 2021, but the year was more notable for revelations about the company’s bad behavior.
AP Photo/Tony Avelar
Meta felt the heat in 2021 as whistleblower revelations, congressional ire and demands for data knocked the company back on its heels. Here’s a look at research into the problems Meta poses for society.
A shop selling skin lightening creams in Nairobi.
Simon Maina/AFP via Getty Images
Skin lighteners are being used more than ever before, especially in urban areas and among men.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company says the kids are all right, but the data it presents is only about how the average social media user is doing.
AP Photo/Eric Risberg
Research from Meta and some scientists shows no harm from social media, but other research and whistleblower testimony show otherwise. Seemingly contradictory, both can be right.
Likes and swipes don’t always make us feel good.
When perfectionists compare themselves to others on social media, they report feelings of depression and insecurity.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies during a US Senate Committee, October 5
Far from unassailable, Facebook and Google act like organisations terrified they are about to peak. We can make it harder for them to buy growth.
What can and should be done in light of response to the Facebook Files? The issues are undoubtedly complex, but solutions need to centre on children’s rights and prioritize what young people need.
What if there were a social media blackout for teens during certain hours of the night?
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It’s tempting to think limits would cause teens to riot in the streets. But Facebook’s own research reveals that young people are well aware of social media’s downsides.
How do you feel about Facebook?
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Facebook users no longer see the site as a confidant. They’re struggling with how to deal with a messy codependence – and whether to just break up and move on with healthier friends.
It took Facebook nearly six hours to get its services back online. In the meantime, Twitter had a field day.
The creation of social media accounts based on fictional models raises pointed questions about race, representation and commodification.
New information Instagram makes teens feel worse about their bodies is an opportunity for parents to start a conversation with their children about their online lives, and encourage positive habits.
Instagram’s emphasis on filtered photos of bodies harms girls’ self-image.
Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images
There is ample research about how harmful Instagram is for teen girls, especially around body image. It turns out Facebook’s own research confirms it.
People tend to view social media posts more favorably when more people have liked, commented on or shared them, regardless of the quality of the posts.
Sai Aung Main/AFP via Getty Images
You have evolved to tap into the wisdom of the crowds. But on social media your cognitive biases can lead you astray.
The changes do not stop Facebook itself from collecting young users’ data and keeping it.
Our research shows what valuable followers fume about.
The popularity of Instagram makes it a valuable resource for mental health support, especially for women.
To combat the lack of resources for women’s mental health, women turn to the popular image-sharing network Instagram for access to information about mental health.
Sarah Baartman was an international sensation of objectification.
In the 19th century, Baartman was dehumanized and mocked for her large posterior. So what does it mean when Black women today strive for ‘Sarah Baartman hips’?