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article imagePosting on social media will ruin your life, study finds

By James Walker     Mar 14, 2015 in Technology
A study has confirmed the idea that obsessing over creating the "perfect" social media post will end up ruining your life, finding that 60 percent of people have missed an experience because they were trying too hard to take a picture or post about it.
In a survey of 1,623 people, 58 percent admitted that fumbling about with smartphones or cameras to capture a "perfect" picture of a life event, such as a birthday or even marriage, for uploading online led to them actually missing the experience of enjoying the event itself.
Of those surveyed, 91 percent said that they had seen tourists on holiday miss an amazing moment such as a dramatic sunset because they were more concerned with making it visible to others on social media. Seventy-five percent admitted to often appearing rude or distant to those around them because they were too busy using their phone.
Twenty-five percent of respondents said that they had disturbed an "intimate" moment with a partner so that they could check their phone while 14 percent said they had risked their own safety to get a photo of something guaranteed to bring likes, going so far as to dodge cars in a busy street to get the "perfect" image.
An infographic of how social media can ruin your life
An infographic of how social media can ruin your life
Joseph Grenny & David Maxfield / VitalSmarts
The survey was carried out by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, co-authors of New York Times best-selling publications such as Crucial Conversations. They title the kind of obsessive social-media moment hunting they found as "trophy hunting" because people end up caring less about the event and more about the reputation they gain for being seen to have attended it.
Grenny and Maxfield created an infographic image that visually shows all of their findings. They warned of the effects of endlessly pursuing social media likes, saying: "Likes are a low-effort way of producing a feeling of social well-being that takes more effort to get in the real world. You may have more friends, you may have more likes, you’ll check your accounts more, but you’re actually going to feel empty."
The pair suggest ways of avoiding the addiction of social media so that you can relax and enjoy the moment without worrying about getting it onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any of the other "must-have, must-upload" online services of the times.
These include engaging the senses to make the most of the experience and trying to view yourself from an outsider's perspective so that you can stay 'morally centered'.
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