Hong Kongers Admit to Purposely Showing Off on Social Media to Make Friends Jealous

Travel photos are among the most exciting things to share on social media, but the reason why is the question that needs honest answers. For many Hong Kongers, these snaps fulfill the purpose of showing off and making friends jealous.

That’s according to a survey conducted by OnePoll, a market research company based in London that took responses from 9,200 travellers in 31 countries/regions. Three hundred travelers came from Hong Kong, and 95% of them were found to spend two hours on social media each day.

Interestingly, results reveal that 36% of Hong Kong travelers check in at locations to get their online friends envious, while a greater 42% simply want to show off, South China Morning Post noted.

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Surveillance Use

In 2015, researchers from the University of Missouri found that Facebook use, in particular, elicits symptoms of depression when feelings of envy are triggered. The study involved young people who used the network for “surveillance” and “simply to stay connected.”

According to the study, surveillance use happens “when users browse the website to see how their friends are doing compared with their own lives.” Postings such as happy relationships, new material possessions and luxurious travels are said to be sources of envy, which then leads to symptoms of depression.

Participants were also asked to rate their agreement with statements such as “I generally feel inferior to others” and “It somehow doesn’t seem fair that some people seem to have all the fun,” Huffington Post reported.

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As it turns out, some who engaged in surveillance use experienced these symptoms, while those who used the network simply to stay connected were free of negative effects.

Too Much Envy

There is also an earlier study which sought the feelings of 600 adults in Germany when using social media. Researchers found that a large number of the respondents felt frustrated, and such frustration is caused by overwhelming envy.

Forbes quoted the study’s authors as saying, “This magnitude of envy incidents taking place on FB alone is astounding, providing evidence that FB offers a breeding ground for invidious feelings.”

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To put an end to envy, Psychology Today advised creating barriers to social media use, identifying and blocking triggers, stopping comparison calculations and helping others. These things may be easier said than done, but trying is step one done. For instance, the act of helping brings good returns, so it’s always a win-win thing.

Pinch yourself the next time you get jealous. After all, you’re only looking at documented memory, and you’re so much more than just that.

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