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chrisdh79 OP t1_iuqv9ne wrote

From the article: A study published in the journal Biological Psychology suggests that exposure to social media content about motherhood can trigger a sense of threat among mothers, activating the body’s stress response. The study found that more time spent on social networking sites devoted to motherhood was associated with increased cortisol output among mothers.

During social interactions, people frequently fall victim to social comparison — they begin comparing themselves to the people around them and making self-judgments. These self-evaluations can lead to negative feelings, particularly when they stem from upward social comparisons — comparisons to people who seem better off than oneself.

Social self-preservation theory says that when a social situation threatens a person’s self-concept, this activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and stimulates the release of cortisol. Accordingly, study author Nataria T. Joseph and her co-authors wanted to test whether engaging in social comparison has a measurable impact on a person’s cortisol levels.

“This project is the third of a series of projects that we executed together, with the aim of examining the complex nature of and multifactorial, biopsychosocial implications of social media use among first time mothers,” explained Joseph (@_NoCrystalStair), an associate professor at Pepperdine University who holds the Blanche E. Seaver Professor of Social Science professorship.