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Who is Really Happier? Re-Examining the Portrayal of Happiness on Social Media and the Persistence of Misperception.

Elfadl, A., Alshakhsi, S., Panourgia, C and Ali, R., 2024. Who is Really Happier? Re-Examining the Portrayal of Happiness on Social Media and the Persistence of Misperception. In: Rocha, A., Adeli, H., Dzemyda, G., Moreira, F. and Poniszewska-Marańda, A., eds. Good Practices and New Perspectives in Information Systems and Technologies. WorldCIST 2024. Cham: Springer, 214-226.

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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-60215-3_21


Growing concerns have been raised regarding the potential influence of social media on mental health and well-being, specifically focusing on the phenomenon of social comparison. Prior research has shown that individuals tend to overestimate the happiness portrayed in others’ social media posts, resulting in negative outcomes such as low mood, reduced self-esteem, and diminished life satisfaction. However, given the nearly two-decade surge of social media, we question whether this trend persists. This study aims to investigate whether indi- viduals still perceive others’ happy posts as happier than their own happy posts on social media, while also exploring potential age and gender differences. Self- reported happiness is a person's perception of their own level of happiness, while perceived happiness is the level of happiness, they believe other people are ex- periencing. Data was collected via an online survey completed by 314 partici- pants. A mixed ANOVA revealed a significant misperception of happiness, indi- cating, against the current literature, that individuals tend to overestimate their own happiness compared to the happiness expressed by others in social media posts. Gender emerged as a significant factor influencing happiness mispercep- tion, with males reporting higher levels of self-reporting happiness than their hap- piness. A significant difference between the age groups was found and indicated that the older age group (25-64 years) demonstrated a significantly higher happi- ness misperception than the emerging adult group (15-24 years). The study re- veals new insights on happiness misperception in social media, impacting well- being and social bonding, particularly among males and adults, and altering per- ceptions of online emotional expressions.

Item Type:Book Section
Series Name:Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Uncontrolled Keywords:Happiness; Perceived happiness; Social Media; Misperception; Gender differences
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:39834
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:15 May 2024 11:50
Last Modified:15 May 2024 11:50


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