If you’re one of the 52 percent of Americans on Facebook, then you know about the people who seem to live there. I’m talking about the folks who never have a thought, attend an event, or eat a meal that they don’t chronicle in their status updates. Their lives seem completely fabulous, like something from the chorus of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win (No Matter What).” Turns out those “look how amazing my life is!” status updates can be depressing to some people who frequently use Facebook, according to a recent study by Utah Valley University. They tend to believe that others have better, happier lives than their own. Could that be because those people are spending more time reading about what other folks are doing rather than actually doing something themselves?
Or is it that these people haven’t caught on to the art of personal branding? Facebook and other social media sites have moved beyond their seemingly original purpose of keeping friends in touch (and, let’s keep it real, building a mammoth and lucrative clientele to advertise to). They’ve become star-makers, places where those creative or bipolar enough can reinvent their lives or sanitize them to sell a shiny new identity. It’s like going away to college or moving to a different city, except you never have to pack.
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