Instagram, the social network of happiness?

Paula Echevarría has more than one and a half million followers on Instagram. Photo Gtres.

People go on a trip and post a wonderful photo, with a great light, (long live the filters!) with a smile from ear to ear. The image is so beautiful that we see it on our timeline, we stop at it and think: “How wonderful! How lucky to be able to live those moments! What a happy couple!”. But we do not stop to think about the before and after of the photo: perhaps the trip has been boring, it has not stopped raining all day and that has been the only moment of sun, or that that fantastic couple is having a good time a bad moment and is about to separate.

The reality is that very few people hang the “natural” from their day to day. We don’t photograph ourselves just up and with dark circles under our eyes, lying on the sofa on a Saturday afternoon half asleep or with the “rheum” stuck, and if we do, we put the #hastag…”#feliz #homesweethome #alnatural #happiness and in this way, we go from a normal moment without “glamour” to a small moment of happiness that we love.

On social networks we tend to show the best of ourselves, a way of seeking the approval of others: we are inclined to publish things likely to receive “likes”, while we avoid posting less popular ones. Receiving those “likes” is a kind of approval from others, and this happens, both in online and offline life.

On Instagram we post moments, and we judge and value the lives of others and our own for those moments, almost always retouched, and in which we only show a few moments of our day to day.

Why is Instagram the social network of happiness? 

  1. On the one hand, there is the search for self-affirmation or approval from others. We like to convey that we are happy and that our life, if not perfect, almost is.
  2. Sharing the good things (even if they are not real) produces more “likes” than the bad ones, that’s why we show more what makes us happy and not the reality of a difficult day, week or month.
  3. Many people continually hang up their lives, (and everything is great!) just because others see it, even though their lives may not be so wonderful later.
  4. Surely we know someone like this: they continually upload photos of their lives, as if it were a documentary, but nothing special has happened to them and even so they need others to see what they do.
  5. Some authors indicate that social interaction is an essential basic human need to achieve happiness and social networks are the new form of interaction, so through their use we can measure our degree of happiness.
  6. The more interactions and friends on the networks, the more we value ourselves and the happier we are.
  7. Recent studies confirm that the publications we see on social networks affect our state of mind: emotions are transferred from one user to another, and seeing happy people makes us happier.
  8. This is so, and not only with social networks: exposing ourselves to pleasant situations “infects” us with positive emotions (joy, happiness…), so we also tend to post photos that convey those emotions.
  9. The important thing is that if that moment that we are going to post is really beautiful and special, you live it and enjoy it without thinking about how good it would look on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter profile.
  10.  And is that happiness where is it: in social networks or within us? So, is Instagram the social network of happiness?

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