Browse Definitions :
Definition

social comparison

Social comparison is the act of contrasting one’s own life with the lives of other people as they are publicly represented. When people believe that the represented lives of others are superior to their own, social comparison can lead to issues caused by the fear of missing out (FOMO), including anxiety, depression and a lack of self-esteem.

The term is particularly relevant to social media. Facebook, for example, serves as a platform for people to represent themselves and their lives to others. That representation, however, is unlikely to align very closely to the individual’s actual life. People tend to create a curated version, either consciously or unconsciously deciding how they want to depict themselves, their activities, their opinions and their environments.

Most people post about the highlights of their lives such as celebrations, vacations, travel and achievements, rather than the everyday details that make up the vast majority of our lives, let alone their darker or less laudable moments. On some level, we usually understand that what we see in the posts of others is highlights rather than a reflection of the whole. Nevertheless, we often compare our own real lives to an idealized version of the lives of others, based on their posts, which can lead to feelings of inferiority. At the same time, those whose online personas contrast sharply with reality may also suffer from a loss of self-esteem. Facebook comments, likes and shares also provide fodder for comparisons.

Social psychologist Leon Festinger developed social comparison theory in the 1950s. According to Festinger, social comparison is a natural mechanism for the development of self-perception.

This was last updated in June 2019

Continue Reading About social comparison

SearchNetworking
  • cloud-native network function (CNF)

    A cloud-native network function (CNF) is a service that performs network duties in software, as opposed to purpose-built hardware.

  • Wi-Fi 6E

    Wi-Fi 6E is one variant of the 802.11ax standard.

  • microsegmentation

    Microsegmentation is a security technique that splits a network into definable zones and uses policies to dictate how data and ...

SearchSecurity
  • MICR (magnetic ink character recognition)

    MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) is a technology invented in the 1950s that's used to verify the legitimacy or ...

  • What is cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

  • Android System WebView

    Android System WebView is a system component for the Android operating system (OS) that allows Android apps to display web ...

SearchCIO
  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

  • contingent workforce

    A contingent workforce is a labor pool whose members are hired by an organization on an on-demand basis.

  • product development (new product development -- NPD)

    Product development, also called new product management, is a series of steps that includes the conceptualization, design, ...

SearchHRSoftware
  • talent acquisition

    Talent acquisition is the strategic process employers use to analyze their long-term talent needs in the context of business ...

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping productive and talented workers and reducing turnover by fostering a ...

  • hybrid work model

    A hybrid work model is a workforce structure that includes employees who work remotely and those who work on site, in a company's...

SearchCustomerExperience
  • Salesforce Trailhead

    Salesforce Trailhead is a series of online tutorials that coach beginner and intermediate developers who need to learn how to ...

  • Salesforce

    Salesforce, Inc. is a cloud computing and social enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider based in San Francisco.

  • data clean room

    A data clean room is a technology service that helps content platforms keep first person user data private when interacting with ...

Close