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Youth Feel Pressured to Maintain Happiness Façade

Donna Freitas in her thought-provoking book The Happiness Effect, argues that the real downside of social media is that it demands fake happiness. She writes:

Because young people feel so pressured to post happy things on social media, most of what everyone sees on social media from their peers are happy things; as a result, they often feel inferior because they aren't actually happy all the time … . students are becoming masters of appearing happy, at significant cost …. Many students have begun to see what they post (on Facebook, especially) as a chore—a homework assignment to build a happy façade.

A full 73 percent of the students she surveyed agreed this this statement: "I try always to appear positive/happy with anything attached to my real name." Only 19 percent of respondents agreed that "I am open about my emotions on social media."

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