Nearly two thirds of social media users say that sites like Facebook and Twitter make them feel inadequate about their own lives and achievements.
According to new research by disability charity Scope, 62% of Facebook and Twitter users felt their own achievements were inadequate when compared to the posts of others, and 60% said that the sites had made them jealous of other users.
The survey of 1,500 social media users comes ahead of Scope’s Digital Detox weekend, where self-confessed social network addicts will try to go 48 hours without the technology to which they have become accustomed.
Debbie Bines, head of challenge events at Scope says: “Social media at its best is a great way to stay in touch with friends, have a chuckle and learn new things – as well as being the world’s leading source of amusing cat pictures.
“But when things get out of balance and we start comparing ourselves to others, or feeling irritated, jealous or even ugly, it’s got to be time to take a break.”
The charity’s research found that almost half of 18-34 year olds said their various social media feeds made them feel ugly or unattractive, while 30% said it also made them feel lonely.
Half of those surveyed between 18 and 34-years old said they had considered quitting social media completely, but admitted that it would be too hard to stay in touch with friends if they did.
“We know that loads of people think that they spend too much time online, but feel too addicted to cut down. So Scope is challenging people to see if they can tear themselves away from their digital addiction for just 48 hours, by taking part in our Digital Detox this weekend,” said Ms Bines.
“We want you to switch off so other people can switch on. Not only will taking part give you a bit of headspace to properly relax and enjoy life offline, it’s also a great opportunity to raise money for Scope’s work, supporting disabled people.”
Adam Smith, a self-confessed social media addict from Nottingham, admitted that he couldn’t wait to step back from technology for two days as it was taking over his life.
“I’m a heavy user. I’m an avid tweeter, an online tutor, a prolific Facebooker, a revered Instagrammer, a high scoring Snapchatter, a chatty Whatsapper, no stranger to Google hangout and an ambitious Storifier.
“I don’t know how or when this happened, but I’m looking forward to the detox.”