Nearly two thirds of social media users say that sites such as Facebook and Twitter make them feel inadequate about their lives.
According to research by British charity Scope, 62% of Facebook and Twitter users felt their own achievements were inadequate when compared to the posts of others, and 60% said that the sites had made them jealous of other users.
The survey of 1,500 social media users comes ahead of Scope’s Digital Detox weekend, where social network addicts will try to go 48 hours without the technology.
Debbie Bines, head of challenge events at Scope says: “Social media at its best is a great way to stay in touch with friends, have a chuckle and learn new things... But when things get out of balance and we start comparing ourselves to others, or feeling irritated, jealous or even ugly, it’s got to be time to take a break.”
The charity’s research found almost half of 18- to 34-year-olds said their social media feeds made them feel ugly or unattractive, while 30% said it also made them feel lonely.
Half of those surveyed said they had considered quitting social media, but said it would be too hard to stay in touch with friends if they did.
Adam Smith, a self-confessed social media addict, said “I’m a heavy user. I’m an avid tweeter, an online tutor, a prolific Facebooker, a revered Instagrammer, a high-scoring Snapchatter, a chatty Whatsapper, no stranger to Google hangout, and an ambitious Storifier. I don’t know how or when this happened, but I’m looking forward to the detox.”
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