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Photo via Vital Smarts
Photo via Vital Smarts

Obsessing over the perfect Instagram shot or Facebook post is impacting your quality of life.

That’s the new research out this week from Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, co-authors of four New York Times bestsellers on human behavior and communication, that “more and more of us are losing connection with our lives in order to earn ‘likes’ and social media praise. We have, in a sense, turned into social media ‘trophy hunters,’ ” according to a statement on Vital Smarts.

Grenny and Maxfield looked at the behaviors of 1,623 people, and 58 percent of them admitted that “posting that perfect picture has prevented them from enjoying life experiences.” What worse? They said it even caused them to act in “bizarre or immoral ways,” or distract them during intimate moments.

“Our key finding is that we enjoy important life moments less when we’re focused on capturing them rather than experiencing them,” said Grenny, co-author of the study, on Vital Smarts. “ ‘Likes’ are a low-effort way to produce a counterfeit feeling of social well-being that takes more effort to achieve in the real world. This study is a warning that we are beginning to value virtual pleasure hits more than authentic happiness.”

There are a lot of disturbing findings here, supporting a lot of what we already know about social media sucking the enjoyment out of our lives. According to the report:

  • Nearly 3 out of 4 people admit to being rude or disconnected from others while on their phones.
  • 91 percent have seen a tourist miss a moment trying to capture it on social media, and many admit to doing the same.
  • 79 percent have seen a parent undermine their experience in a child’s life while trying to capture the “perfect” post.
  • 14 percent have risked their own safety while trying to post. (And others, I might add: Please put your smartphones away while you drive.)

Check out their infographic on social behavior below:

Photo via Vital Smarts
Photo via Vital Smarts
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