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AIBU?

To think those who post a lot on social media are generally unhappy in reality?

127 replies

Whatsgoingonwithmyhead · 14/01/2024 15:58

Just a conversation I was having.

Do you think those who post a lot on Instagram are unhappy or insecure?

I’m not taking about those who post because it’s part of the work or business just to be clear

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

345 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
27%
You are NOT being unreasonable
73%
MeMyBooksAndMyCats · 14/01/2024 16:03

Yes.

BridgerGo · 14/01/2024 16:03

I’ve noticed this with two friends in particular who I don’t live close to, so all my contact with them is either private phone/texts, or public instagram posts. There’ll be a big uptick in their instagram posts all looking happy and great, and I have an internal “oh great, glad X is having a good time at the moment” then usually a week or so later, we’re in contact privately and it turns out they’ve been having an awful time and are really on the edge. I notice it with those two in particular, I don’t know if they’re just quite extreme versions of what every body does or whether they in particular have it as a coping mechanism.

i’m not sure I do. When I’m miserable or stressed, I probably post less as I can’t be bothered. But I think there are times when people are lonely/bored and they post more, as the engagement is like a version of connection, but one which doesn’t take as much emotional effort (like if you’re depressed , it can be hard to phone or text people).

Thepeopleversuswork · 14/01/2024 16:05

Not necessarily. It's become very fashionable these days to attribute dubious psychological motives to people based on their social media behaviour but most of it is just projection on the part of the person making the inference. To be honest I'm more suspicious of people who assume things about other people based on their social media patterns than I am of the people who post the stuff on social media.

I've lost count of the threads on here with people saying: "my mate is always posting pictures of her and her DH and their marriage is in trouble therefore anyone who posts about their DH must also be in the same situation."

You can't generalise. Some people post stuff to compensate for their lives being sad/boring/frustrating or their marriage going down the tubes. Some just like social media and like sharing every detail of their lives and post a lot. Some do it because it's part of their work. Some like posting pretty landscapes. Some like hearing their own opinions or starting a political barney. Some treat Insta/Facebook like a digital photo album. Some treat it like a messaging service.

All human life is there and the correlation/causation argument is just wish-fulfilment by people who want to feel other people are unhappy to reassure themselves about their own lives.

MaloneMeadow · 14/01/2024 16:06

Yes - there’s definitely an element of needing external validation that the likes, comments etc on social media bring.

ronoi · 14/01/2024 16:06

I think there are too many variables.

Some may be unhappy or insecure, some may be arrogant, showy, vain and some might just enjoy social media and their life intertwined.

DolphinDreamer · 14/01/2024 16:07

No. I think that’s a huge and sweeping generalisation to make.

MsFogi · 14/01/2024 16:09

I find the ones with huge problems in their marriages tend to be the ones who post hugely effusive public messages of love/birthday messages/anniversary etc messages to each other on social media.

VisionsOfSplendour · 14/01/2024 16:10

If course not, some peopke just like sharing their lives , huge assumption to think they are unhappy

Dazedandcovidconfused · 14/01/2024 16:11

Sweeping judgy generalisation, and if anything sounds a bit like projection to me.

Meadowfinch · 14/01/2024 16:11

I don't know about unhappy, but they must have the luxury of time on their hands.

I have a career, a child, a house, hobbies. I manage about 5 minutes on MN most mornings while I drink my coffee.

All this posting photos and checking out influencers seems a bit odd to me. I'm too busy keeping all the plates spinning. I don't have time to worry what other people think ?

ChristmasinBurrRidge · 14/01/2024 16:12

Not necessarily. They're just as likely to be people who are genuinely living fabulous and fulfiling lives. No one needs to look at their posts if they don't want to.

Readingthedictionary · 14/01/2024 16:14

Nobody really knows without the conclusive results of a comprehensive, well controlled study ;)

AyeRightYeAre · 14/01/2024 16:16

Instagram has millions of users you can't make that kind of generalisation.

ghrubnide · 14/01/2024 16:19

I would say from my group of friends, and this is me making assumptions as I don't know what goes on behind closed doors, that the ones that post the least seem to be genuinely happy whereas I've got one friend who is always posting about how great her DH is and I do feel she does this to convince herself. She also tags him in memes etc whilst sitting in the same room.

Theshieldofdoom · 14/01/2024 16:19

Ridiculous assumption, I post a fair bit, running stuff mostly that I doubt anyone but my fellow runners are interested in if at all. Is everyone else I know saying to themselves that I must be unhappy , what a load of rubbish

Theshieldofdoom · 14/01/2024 16:20

But then I never post about my relationship so maybe I'm off the hook

GeckoEcho · 14/01/2024 16:20

Sounds like BS to me. It's people with the luxury of spare time who post a lot.

And most people are unhappy regardless. The state this country's in, you'd have to be an imbecile to be happy at the moment anyway.

Rangelife · 14/01/2024 16:21

I don't know about the social media/sign of unhappiness thing but I find this 'I am waaaaaaay too busy to be posting on SM, just where do people find the time?' baffling. The 'busy busy' people IMO are just poor at time management. Nobody is that busy all the time. I have a FT job, freelance on the side, 3DC, a social life, a house to take care of, a walking hobby and marriage and I get time to sit and scroll on social media frequently Grin

ronoi · 14/01/2024 16:22

@Meadowfinch

I don't know about unhappy, but they must have the luxury of time on their hands.

Time isn't always a luxury.

I have a career, a child, a house, hobbies. I manage about 5 minutes on MN most mornings while I drink my coffee.

You are very fortunate.

Thepeopleversuswork · 14/01/2024 16:24

MsFogi · 14/01/2024 16:09

I find the ones with huge problems in their marriages tend to be the ones who post hugely effusive public messages of love/birthday messages/anniversary etc messages to each other on social media.

This is such a cliche and a huge generalisation. People always trot this out and it always boils down to a single anecdote about one person they know.

In fact this is confirmation bias: you know your mate's marriage is in trouble so the fact that she's posted effusive messages stands out as anomalous to you. It probably doesn't cross your mind when ten other people you know on Facebook whose marriages are OK do the same thing - you don't notice it. It's because you're looking for evidence of people using social media to whitewash their lives and you see it in the posts.

People do do this of course, just as they might say "it's all fine" if its not. But it's a massive generalisation to say "I've wished my DH a Happy Birthday on Insta: ergo my marriage is on the rocks."

Needmorelego · 14/01/2024 16:25

My Facebook is mostly pictures of cats, squirrels and birds, random silly things I see, memes I find amusing, pictures of books I have read and pictures of my Lego.
I don't do it for likes. I do it for me. It's like a virtual scrapbook that's all.
So no....I'm not unhappy or insecure.

Cincinnatus · 14/01/2024 16:26

Absolutely. All for attention and clout.

Nestofwalnuts · 14/01/2024 16:29

I often assume this, although a very old friend of mine does and she is just out and about ALL the time, having dinner, seeing shows, going for cocktails, off for the weekend with her 'besties'. She shows the world all the lovely things she does. I sometimes feel jealous and then realise i do almost as many lovely things I just never ever post them on SM.

FuckOffTom · 14/01/2024 16:29

Yep. Definitely. I have a friend who is very unhappy in her relationship, was even seeing someone else behind her partner’s back for a while, will not tell him how she is feeling etc and posts so many updates on insta of their days out and holidays. You’d think they had the perfect life but it’s a distraction.

Sartre · 14/01/2024 16:30

Yep. I haven’t used any form of social media for 3 years now and I feel much better for it. Prior to that, I was posting on Instagram every day and had about 6k followers. I wasn’t happy at all, in fact I was rather miserable due to lockdown, PND etc.

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