Exclusion From Social Media Tags Can Cause Psychological Pain

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The link between social networks and psychology is becoming more and more intense, thanks to their increased diffusion and the considerable time of use especially by the younger ones. If online discrimination can lead to an accentuated depression, the lack of involvement of people on Facebook and Twitter can cause further discomfort.

This is demonstrated by a new research conducted at the University of Basel in Switzerland by a team of the Department of Psychology led by Dr. Christiane Büttner. As you explained, exclusion from tags and other social media activities such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter could lead to an increasing feeling of isolation from the increasingly engaging digital world, with all that follows.

The series of studies conducted by the researchers covered just over 1,100 users in several different analyses: one of them saw the recording of their reactions to the discovery that they were not tagged in a friend’s Instagram posts, or even the use of photo editing for In this context, several respondents said that these gestures made them feel excluded, injured and even useless. Another study saw, instead, the sharing of their feelings on a social exclusion context, both in person and online, confirming again the negative feeling and a psychological impact not to be underestimated.

Or, again, 220 participants were asked to discuss the possible exclusion by a working group for which they would spend time and resources, and thus not considered in the final texts of thanks and awards. The result has always been the same: the lack of tags and the lack of consideration towards the excluded person would cause considerable psychological pain in the latter, due to the dissatisfaction of the need to belong.

Christiane Büttner said that changes to social design may be necessary to minimise the risk of involuntary insults or such problems. Otherwise, more attention from users would be enough to make posts more inclusive and not hurt others’ feelings.

A study conducted last August, however, revealed how the ♪ I like it makes users more outraged.

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