DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Researchers at UT Dallas are looking at how lurking or passive use of social media might be more harmful than active use.
In a study published in Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, researchers found that negative feelings develop when people go through highly curated photos and posts of friends on their social media pages. This can lead to social comparisons which can precipitate the “fear of missing out” (FOMO)
“Some social network sites are designed to be photo centric. Users of this platform to put the best foot forward and present highly curated versions of ourselves,” said Justin Vollet, co-author of the study. “This feature of social network sites invites social comparison,” he said.
“FOMO is in turn linked to lower levels of well-being, specifically it is linked to higher levels of depressive symptoms, higher levels of low self-worth,” Kaitlyn Burnell, a co-author on the study told CBS 11 News.
Researchers describe active social media use as uploading content and initiating direct interactions with other people â€” and passive use, described as browsing feeds without any kind of social exchange.
They examined Instagram and three other social platforms and surveyed 717 participants, averaging 21 years old, who use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.