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

Networking
  • Network as a Service (NaaS)

    Network as a service, or NaaS, is a business model for delivering enterprise WAN services virtually on a subscription basis.

  • network configuration management (NCM)

    Network configuration management is the process of organizing and maintaining information about all of the components in a ...

  • presentation layer

    The presentation layer resides at Layer 6 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communications model and ensures that ...

Security
  • backdoor (computing)

    A backdoor attack is a means to access a computer system or encrypted data that bypasses the system's customary security ...

  • Heartbleed

    Heartbleed was a vulnerability in some implementations of OpenSSL, an open source cryptographic library.

  • What is risk management and why is it important?

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

CIO
  • Semantic Web

    The Semantic Web is a vision for linking data across webpages, applications and files.

  • enterprise project management office

    An enterprise project management office (EPMO) is a department within an organization charged with setting priorities, standards ...

  • soft skills

    A soft skill is a personal attribute that supports situational awareness and enhances an individual's ability to get a job done.

HRSoftware
  • team collaboration

    Team collaboration is a communication and project management approach that emphasizes teamwork, innovative thinking and equal ...

  • employee self-service (ESS)

    Employee self-service (ESS) is a widely used human resources technology that enables employees to perform many job-related ...

  • learning experience platform (LXP)

    A learning experience platform (LXP) is an AI-driven peer learning experience platform delivered using software as a service (...

Customer Experience
  • chief customer officer (CCO)

    A chief customer officer, or customer experience officer, is responsible for customer research, communicating with company ...

  • relationship marketing

    Relationship marketing is a facet of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on customer loyalty and long-term ...

  • voice recognition (speaker recognition)

    Voice or speaker recognition is the ability of a machine or program to receive and interpret dictation or to understand and ...

Close