Posting Your Workouts to Facebook Scientifically Proves You Have Mental Problems
I see it every day. Seemingly self-congratulatory posts like, "Just hit my PR on bench press, yeah!" Or, "Down another 5 pounds, almost there!"
Leave it to the science nerds to make this a negative thing.
Researchers from Brunel University in London conducted a study about why people post about their workouts on Facebook, and I have a little something to say about their conclusions. This university has been known to do studies on social media and behavior (see this here) but this one grabbed my attention due to its misinterpretation of why I feel people share exercise on social media.
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On the contrary, we see people post about being drunk, going out and having a great time intoxicated. Does this mean that those people are drunken whores? No, it is social media, they are sharing a part of their life.
Likewise, those in fitness are sharing a part of their lives. Social media is a snapshot into a person's mindset at that time. If they are proud of accomplishing something fitness-related, they will post about it. At least they earned it, and it has a favorable outcome, unlike alcohol that leads to having sex with an ugly person and a hangover with no positive outcome.
Are You a Fitness Narcissist?
Narcissism is a word tossed out by non-exercisers criticizing those who exercise regularly.
Narcissism is defined as "extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type." I hardly see posting about running a 5k in record time, losing weight or hitting a personal best in the squat as a grandiose view of one's talents, just a little bragging point on something one is proud of.
Social media is inherently a support group. The very nature of the word, social media, is a place for one to be social with a group of peers and friends.
When I do something that I perceive as awesome, I will tell my wife, best friend, brother or someone who will listen. This is what you do when proud, you tell someone. And a group of friends is a mouse-click away on social media. Why not just post it?
The real question is, if fitness posts demonstrate narcissism what do politics say? It is election season, and the teams have formed. I have seen people stop being friends with others who disagree. The Trump supporters are die hard, the Hillary supporters hate anyone who likes Trump, so if delving into psychology, what does this make them?
Pack-style sheep followers? No, it makes them human.
Facebook is there for conversation and discourse. If people didn't talk about fitness, politics and themselves, there would be nothing to speak about. What would we be left with? Weather? Dr. Seuss? And I would say marriage, but if positive, that would constitute narcissism as well. So, if not bragging on fitness, what the heck do we talk about?
The beautiful thing about Facebook is, you don't have to read anything. You don't even have to unfriend a person, just take them off of your feed. If you're so insecure and have a fixed mindset that you cannot be happy for someone else's success, you need to work on your own personal insecurities.
What is a fixed mindset? According to Carol Dweck, author of "Mindset, The New Psychology of Success", this is a 'Fixed Mindset' versus a 'Growth Mindset'.
So, you haters who feel threatened by the success of others, it is your problem that you see issues with this 'bragging'.
Then we can contrast with the people who just post pictures of their cars, houses, boats and brag about what they have. Money, females, etc. This is a true mental illness, a cry for help, attention and compensating for low self-esteem. I would rather see 400 personal best posts on training then one ass-clown bragging on his car.
In summary, my opinion is Screw Research.
If you break a personal best, do something cool or are just so proud you want everyone to know, post it! I want to see this on my feed because I have a Growth Mindset and can feel good for your success.
And to this University, based on your past studies, your personal bias at the start of the study and hypothesis influenced the results. Maybe they should look up the saying online, 'Do U Even Lift?'
I bet the answer is 'No' ...And that's not a game!