Friday, February 24, 2023

Comparing oneself on social media with those who are better off than oneself is a turn-off in every way, for men, women and people of all ages

A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Social Media Exposure to Upward Comparison Targets on Self-Evaluations and Emotions. Carly A. McComb,Eric J. Vanman &Stephanie J. Tobin. Media Psychology, Feb 23 2023.

Abstract: Social media have become a pervasive part of contemporary culture and are an essential part of the daily lives of an increasing number of people. Its popularity has brought unlimited opportunities to compare oneself with other people. This meta-analysis combined and summarized the findings of previous experimental research, with the aim of generating causal conclusions regarding the effects of exposure to upward comparison targets on self-evaluations and emotions in a social media context. We identified 48 articles involving 7679 participants through a systematic search and entered 118 effect sizes into a multilevel, random-effects meta-analysis. Analyses revealed an overall negative effect of upward social comparison relative to downward comparison and controls on social media users’ self-evaluations and emotions (g = −0.24, p < .001). Specifically, there were significant negative effects of upward comparison on each outcome variable: body image (g = −0.31, p < .001), subjective well-being (g = −0.19, p < .001), mental health (g = −0.21, p < .001) and self-esteem (g = −0.21, p < .001). This meta-analysis indicates that contrast is the dominant response to upward comparison on social media, which results in negative self-evaluations and emotions.