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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:
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Am I being unreasonable?

345 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
27%
You are NOT being unreasonable
73%
burnoutbabe · 14/01/2024 16:37

I'm 50, my parents 75. We post lots on Facebook but it's mostly to share with each other,

I figure it matters nothing if all other mates ignore my posts. But my parents still like seeing my meals out or my holiday photos. Or we share wordle scores each day.

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easylikeasundaymorn · 14/01/2024 16:39

agree with everyone who said no, it's too big a generalisation.
Interesting that several people who have said yes have supported this with 'I have 1 friend who does so and she's unhappy' thus extrapolating the way ONE person behaves to the way billions of people use social media. Can't you hear how ridiculous that sounds? Like saying 'I have one friend who has red hair and she's allergic to peanuts so all redheads must have a nut allergy.'

Personally I used social media a lot when I was younger, e.g. late teens/early 20s a) because it was new
b) because I was doing lots of fun things that (in my mind) warranted sharing
c) all my friends were doing the same so it was a big part of my social engagement/interaction
d) had minimal other commitments so could spend hours scrolling on insta, getting involved in twitter debates, choosing pictures, etc.

Those were probably the 'happiest' times of my life (or at least the most exciting/least stressful). Now I hardly ever post because a) don't have time and b) rarely do anything exciting!

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ThirtyThrillionThreeTrees · 14/01/2024 16:43

Yes, a lot of the messiest, damaged relationships I know are the ones that are portrayed as the happiest on SM.

Every Christmas, Birthday, Father's/Mather's Day, family day out etc., especially with the gushing declarations of #happyfamily, #soluckytohave you, #dayslikethis, etc.

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RawBloomers · 14/01/2024 16:47

Amoung my friends, the least happy are normally the ones who withdraw from social interaction, both in person and online.

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alltootired · 14/01/2024 16:48

I post when I ma happy. Mainly photos of the children. When I am unhappy I do not post anything. But that is because I do not post statuses about what is going wrong.

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Maddy70 · 14/01/2024 16:49

I post a lot. I couldn't be happier. I largely use it as a diary and look back at my memories every day. I like to remind myself of the beautiful place I live and my lovely times with my friemds and family. Makes me very grateful

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OhIlovetosew · 14/01/2024 16:50

I strongly disagree. I’m in lots of SM sewing groups and we discuss all sorts of things and share things we make. Some of these groups I also meet with locally and some are worldwide.

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ALunchbox · 14/01/2024 16:50

Haven't been using social media that much the last few years but I remember noticing how what people portrayed had little to do with their real life, which prompted me to use social media less. I'm sure lots of happy people use it too but there were definitely colleagues, neighbours using it and I knew for a fact they weren't happy. Perhaps it's a bit like expensive weddings more likely to end in divorce? You feel you have to prove something?

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AddictedToBooks · 14/01/2024 17:09

I think you have a point - a few years ago, I was a massive "oversharer" and really didn't even realise how much I posted - at that time I was also deeply unhappy and felt extremely lonely and getting "likes" and comments from "friends" simply made me feel less alone.
Nowadays I barely post at all but see some of those same "friends" still oversharing just like I did and for each of those who do it, I know they each have their own real problems and sadness in their lives.
I also see it in the eyes of those who recognise oversharers and those who scroll on by because they're so bored of reading the same old posts from the same old people.

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decisionssmecisions · 14/01/2024 17:13

It depends what they are doing to be honest. I think people who use it a lot are more likely to be bored or lonely.

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MadAboutThat · 14/01/2024 17:13

DolphinDreamer · 14/01/2024 16:07

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

Agreed.

Personally, I tend to post more when I'm happier. Right now I'm pretty 'meh' in general with life and I haven't posted anything of any substance in months.

When I'm happy I tend to take pictures of things/times I want to remember and post them.

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decisionssmecisions · 14/01/2024 17:14
  • Personally I used social media a lot when I was younger, e.g. late teens/early 20s a) because it was new
    b) because I was doing lots of fun things that (in my mind) warranted sharing
    c) all my friends were doing the same so it was a big part of my social engagement/interaction
    d) had minimal other commitments so could spend hours scrolling on insta, getting involved in twitter debates, choosing pictures, etc.*

    Those were probably the 'happiest' times of my life (or at least the most exciting/least stressful). Now I hardly ever post because a) don't have time and b) rarely do anything exciting!

    That's the same for me but I think it's more I outgrew fb & insta etc as did my friends
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Musiclover234 · 14/01/2024 17:15

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.

This is my insta. I use it to store photos of fun stuff and so on. Im very happy in my relationship and life in general but I do have time to post the odd thing to a story every few days or when I want to. Im
Not bored or lonely or doing it for likes I don’t have many followers. It’s not about following influencers at all my I do follow pages I have interests in.

Such a generalisation.
Yet all these ‘too busy, too social, busy mums blah blah for social media’ people have the time to be on mumsnet frequently which would take the same amount of time as browsing some photos or reels, or even posting one yourself on Instagram .

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NonPlayerCharacter · 14/01/2024 17:17

No, it's facile nonsense that anyone who posts a lot of positive stuff must be fake and miserable. Something people who don't like seeing the content want to believe. Of course it's true sometimes, and if you're an actual influencer then yes, you need to maintain your brand. Normal people on Facebook? Sometimes happy people post a lot (I post more when I'm feeling positive) and miserable people avoid it entirely.

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decisionssmecisions · 14/01/2024 17:19

Yet all these ‘too busy for social media’ people have time to be on mumsnet which would take the same amount of time as browsing some photos or reels, or even posting one yourself on Instagram

I think there's nuance though, I like the telly board for recommendations for example & have had some excellent property/DIY & money advice on here. I don't think that's the same as posting a selfie but each to their own.

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Perhapsanorhertimewouldbebetter · 14/01/2024 17:20

Overall perhaps, although I often wonder about the happiness of those who analyse other's posting habits too.

I use insta a bit, FB for info/family, not much else. I feel it's up to other folk what/how often they post tbh, as long as they're not on there constantly and realise that instalife isn't real life!

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VelvetUndergrounds · 14/01/2024 17:21

Yep

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Sallyingon · 14/01/2024 17:21

I just like nice pictures. I like looking at my own grid and other people's grids. I use it a lot for travel inspiration and places to visit..I don't think I do it for validation as I have less than 100 followers and I'm set to private. I don't think I would care if it was a completely private account as it isn't about likes or comments. But I do only share things that look good and there are definitely fake elements. I don't know what the heck it's all about but I'm not unhappy in my life.

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BarelyLiterate · 14/01/2024 17:21

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.

I agree with this. Some people appear to need & thrive on attention, external validation & approval which they seek by posting a lot on social media. If it helps them, fine.

Others dislike attention & don’t give a toss what a bunch of randoms on the internet think about anything so they rarely if ever use social media. I’m very firmly in this category, so I don’t use FB, Instagram, TikTok etc.

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decisionssmecisions · 14/01/2024 17:27

Overall perhaps, although I often wonder about the happiness of those who analyse other's posting habits too.

I'm personally not too bothered about what others post however I have young dc & work with teenagers so for me there are definitely wider discussions to be had around social media, what people project on it, advertising etc so analysing & having opinions on it are very important imo. Im not sure why that would be conflated with my own personal happiness?

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Thepeopleversuswork · 14/01/2024 17:31

Overall perhaps, although I often wonder about the happiness of those who analyse other's posting habits too.

This.

I think cod psychology based on observing people’s social media posts is far more pathological than the posts in the first place.

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Theearthisntflat · 14/01/2024 17:32

I can only speak for myself here but when I was posting pictures in a relationship I was trying to pretend how 'good' it was to the outside, forging some kind of fake image. That was pretty messed up of me because behind every smile was weeks of abuse.

There's been periods I have used Insta when I was really angry or hurt and would post a shit load of really crap quotes getting my point across, now I'm not that angry person anymore I post pictures of my dogs, Sunsets, friends and random stuff that I just enjoy.

People who post on instagram do it for so many reasons and we can't pigeonhole anyone. Of course there are some that do it for validation, who doesn't appreciate being told they look good (I wouldn't know, cause I look like a pigs backside), but there's also a lot of wholesome and beautiful pages on there like 'knucklebump farms' .. 'cause who doesn't enjoy looking at happy animals?

I don't think it's really any of anyone's business why an individual posts. As long as they're not exploiting anyone - who cares? Each to their own.

Just focus on yourself :-)

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SchoolQuestionnaire · 14/01/2024 17:35

I don’t necessarily think so. There may be something in the external validation thing though.

I used to post a lot on social media. I had a great life was very happy at the time and wanted to share it, although I can’t pretend there wasn’t an element of showing off. I couldn’t go to a lovely place or have a lovely experience without posting and I’m a bit mortified when I look back.

I don’t post at all these days. I’m still genuinely really happy but I prefer to keep my own council and no longer feel the need to share it with everyone else. I suppose I’ve learned that I can be happy and not have to tell everyone!! Come to think of it, I don’t really know anyone who still posts on social media. I think we’ve all just outgrown it.

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Aria2023 · 14/01/2024 17:36

Sometimes. I know someone who essentially uses social media as a dairy. They post most days and they enjoy having an online record of what they've been up to. It's not in a show off way though. It's more 'this is what I've been up to' kind of way. Hard to describe, but I actually quite like the updates. I don't see this person very often (every few months), but I feel very up to date with their life and makes them feel closer somehow.

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GanninHyem · 14/01/2024 17:38

I'm desperately unhappy and never post on social media 🤷‍♀️

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