Daily Bulletin


The Conversation

  • Written by Hillbun Ho, Senior Lecturer, Marketing Discipline Group, University of Technology Sydney
Sharing your #shopping on social media can damage your health and your wallet

Posting images on social media when we buy new clothes, eat out or purchase the latest gadget may seem harmless enough. But this consumption-oriented sharing may be undermining both our bank balance and our mental well-being.

Our research has found that this sort of social media engagement is linked in some people to greater anxiety, lower self-esteem and an increased likelihood of excessive spending.

Around 40% of the world’s population uses social media, with young people spending the greatest amount of time online. So understanding the influence of social media on health and well-being is critical to reducing potential harm.

Read more: Mental health risks to girls who spend more than an hour a day on social media – new study

Consumer-oriented posts trigger social comparison

We surveyed 900 Singaporean university students aged 17-24 about their social media activities, to explore whether sharing product information had an influence on well-being.

On platforms like Facebook and Instagram everyone looks happy: enjoying holidays, going to fancy restaurants, buying luxury goods and clothes. We were curious to understand whether this glossy portrayal has a psychological impact on social media users.

Previous research has looked at the impact of time spent on social media, but our research specifically examined the link between consumer-based content – such as posts about products or shopping experiences – and well-being.

Our survey was conducted face to face at several college campuses. Participants voluntarily reported their behaviours related to social media usage, peer comparison, well-being and spending levels. This data allowed us to assess the impact of participants’ sharing of consumption-related content on well-being, while controlling for demographics and media usage habits.

Read more: How teens use fake Instagram accounts to relieve the pressure of perfection

The findings suggest that when young adults engage in social media, creating and sharing content about products, it can trigger a social comparison process. In the end, this hurts their psychological well-being, lowering their self-esteem and increasing anxiety levels.

Feelings of inferiority, low self-esteem and anxiety in some cases led to uncontrollable spending sprees – seemingly in an effort to close the gap between the students’ own lives and what they see in their news feeds.

While Singaporean culture has a strong focus on material life and peer comparison, the results are also applicable to Australian social media users, particularly young people.

Of particular concern is the link we found between consumption-oriented sharing and risky spending behaviour, including higher credit card debt. Just sharing general experiences does not seem to have the same impact.

Healthy parental relationships help curb the problem

Negative impacts were more common in students who felt that materialistic possessions and financial success are “very important”. But those who said they had a good relationship with their parents were less affected.

Students who told us that they have a close, healthy relationship with their parents, using self-rated measures of attachment, support and warmth, did not suffer the same feelings of inferiority. Nor did they succumb to the behaviour that this can trigger.

Read more: How to be a healthy user of social media

The research has implications for government policy and awareness programs for young people. We are keen to conduct similar research in Australia, to better understand ways to help young people develop self-regulation and resilience.

The study also has ramifications for marketers because of what it says about the potentially negative impacts of marketing products through social media “influencers” – people like beauty and fashion bloggers with large social media followings who are given free products or paid to endorse brands online.

Authors: Hillbun Ho, Senior Lecturer, Marketing Discipline Group, University of Technology Sydney

Read more http://theconversation.com/sharing-your-shopping-on-social-media-can-damage-your-health-and-your-wallet-100591

Writers Wanted

Solitaire Card Game Rules Every Gamer Should Know

arrow_forward

Asian countries do aged care differently. Here's what we can learn from them

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Business News

Top 5 US Logistics Companies

Nothing is more annoying than having to deal with unreliable shipping companies for your fragile and important packages. Other than providing the best customer service, a logistics company also ne...

News Co - avatar News Co

Luke Lazarus Helps Turns Startups into Global Stalwarts

There are many positive aspects to globalization. It is no secret that those who have been impacted by globalization tend to enjoy a higher standard of living in general. One factor that has led to ...

Emma Davidson - avatar Emma Davidson

Digital-based strategies that grow and expand your business

Small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly relying on new technology solutions to strengthen their product development, marketing, and customer engagement activities. Technology adoption...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion