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Being real on social media can be good for your mental health, study finds

For the study, 90 students were asked to post on Facebook in an authentic way for a week, and then in a 'self-idealised' way for another week. It was found that the students' mental state was better when they posted 'authentically'

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | October 9, 2020 8:50:51 pm
social media, social media and mental health, posting on social media, being real on social media, indian express newsThe comments on social media came after the cricketer lost a match in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League.

Social media is both a boon and a bane for this modern, tech-savvy world. While on one hand it is considered to be a powerful tool to bring about a genuine change, on the other, it is often said to be mired with issues of online abuse and harassment.

But a recent study has found that while people share snippets of their everyday life every now and then, being authentic on social media can benefit their mental health immensely. According to The Independent, a new study published in the Nature Communications journal suggests that keeping it real on social media is better for our mental well-being.

Researchers at New York’s Columbia Business School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago had analysed the data of 10,560 Facebook users, who had completed something called the ‘life satisfaction and personality assessment surveys’ from 2007 to 2012, the outlet reports.

When the data was compared with predictions of their personalities based on their Facebook profiles — to understand the extent to which the profiles represented their authentic selves — it was found that those who presented themselves in a way that “closely resembled how they viewed themselves, reported higher levels of life satisfaction, compared to those whose profiles did not closely resemble how they saw themselves”.

ALSO READ | Matters of the Mind: Worrying about technology won’t help

The outlet further mentions that for a separate part of the study, researchers asked 90 students to post on Facebook in an authentic way for a week, and then post in a ‘self-idealised’ way for another week. They concluded that the students’ mental state was better in the course of the week they were asked to post ‘authentically’.

Erica Bailey, a doctoral student in management at Columbia Business School, and the author of the study, told CNN: “However, in the case of social media, the opposite direction is also highly likely, that is people who are more well-adjusted or happier are also probably more likely to post authentically.”

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