Take a few minutes to browse through your Instagram and Twitter. What type of images and content do you usually share? You might want to have a second look at your Insta feed because a recent study by the University of Utah College of Public Health revealed that your social media posts might directly be linked to your health.
The research published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research Public Health and Surveillance says that you need to think about your health if most of your posts are about partying and drinking rather than hiking and enjoying a healthy breakfast.
The study also said that most of the people posting about health and happiness came from some specific regions. The team uncovered a trend in the Insta posts of the social media users:
“We found that neighborhoods with social and economic disadvantage, high urbanicity, and more fast food restaurants may exhibit lower happiness and fewer healthy behaviors.”
Previously, the research revealed that the mothers posting the pictures of their babies on social media were seeking approval of their parenting from others. Yet again, the latest study conducted by the research team at the University of Utah College of Public Health asserts how our social media usage may indicate our mental as well as physical outlook.
The study tracked social media posts that contained words like: ‘laughter, joy, rainbow, walk, walking, dancing, golf, swimming etc.’ The team then mapped the posts and coloured the areas based on the percentage of the happiness. The darker areas in the map below represent the region that had a higher percentage of happy tweets.
The map generated by the JMIR public health and surveillance depicts that the most of the happy tweets originated from the rural, and well-off country-side regions while those living in the cities were less likely to be happy.
However, most of the people studies fall into the 18-49 age group and thus, do not represent the entire population. Again, the study did not account for the ‘social modelling’ whereby people are prompted by the posts of their friends to post about the same things.
Yet, the fact that we curate a glorified version of ourselves on the social media leads us to the conclusion that we will live healthy if we project our healthier image on the social media.