Always posting pics on Facebook? Then you're weird, study says

Research from the U.K. suggests that those who post vast numbers of pictures to Facebook might have trouble enjoying relationships in real life.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

So here are 20 photos of our hike this weekend.

Here am I, standing halfway up a hill. And here am I standing halfway down a hill.

I am sure that your Facebook news feed -- should you still bother having one -- is filled with people who believe that every visual evidence of their everyday lives is fascinating visual evidence.

Whereas, in fact, it's more turgid than a slime martini.

Here is some good news, however. A study suggests that people who do this may be alienating themselves from those who might be called normal human beings.

As CBS Washington reports, researchers from three British universities -- the University of Birmingham, University West of England, and the University of Edinburgh -- have concluded that frequent Facebook photo-posters "risk damaging real-life relationships."

Of course, this assumes that they actually have any. Surely one of the beauties of Facebook is that it removes the burden of having to interact with people in physical space.

The report -- delightfully called Tagger's Delight (PDF) -- offers a highly academic picture of the shared picture: "Increased frequency of sharing photographs of the self, regardless of the type of target sharing the photographs, is related to a decrease in intimacy."

Because this research was performed by academics, there are kinks. For example: "Close friends sharing an increasing number of photographs of the self is related to increased scores of intimacy, whereas close friends sharing photographs of friends is related to decreased scores in intimacy."

Ah, but who, these days, is really a close friend?

At heart, the researchers would like to warn you that you should remember all the different types of people who might view your daily snaps of fascination.

They are concerned, for example, about those who post to the Facebook fan pages of certain brands. The report says: "While benefiting brand awareness and critical mass of a Facebook fan page for a brand, organization or cause, sharing photographs may be harmful to those asked to participate."

I choose to translate this as: "If you're one of those people who posts pictures of yourself to the Corn Flakes fan page, you are yourself a corn flake."

I know that you're supposed to post everything you do and are to Facebook.

However, there might be some sliver of hope in this research that not everyone finds all those photos edifying.

Indeed, to some it might appear that the poster is trying to make their life seem more exciting than it is.

And failing.