We’ve all been there. One moment, you are scrolling through Instagram looking at your friends’ posts, and the next moment you’re comparing your life to theirs. And you’re not alone in doing so. This is called ‘social comparison’, which refers to evaluating yourself by seeing how you measure up to those around you.
For better or for worse, Instagram seems to be helping to encourage this phenomenon. This study conducted in Singapore found that the more one uses Instagram, the more one engages in social comparison. This is further egged on by hashtags that allow people to search for certain types of photos. For example, if you were to search #motherhood, you would find lots of posts featuring happy mothers and their kids.
But is social comparison good? The short answer is: no. In fact, it can play a part in fuelling envy; think about the last time you saw your friends post about their day and thought to yourself, ‘I wish I was doing that’.