Much of the daily time on Social Networking Sites (SNSs) is spent looking at the stream of information updated by members of our social networks. Friends, relatives, acquaintances and people we have never met appear with their posts on our SNSs timeline. Being constantly exposed to the successes, goals and achievements of others has important psychological consequences on what we are. Social comparison is an inevitable element of what occurs when we examine our social media and compare our results with those of our social “friends”. In this sense, SNSs provide a fertile ground for social comparisons as information about similar or different comparison targets are available very clearly and quickly. Two studies are presented, in which positive and negative aspects of social comparison emerge within social media. In the first, conducted in the pre-post COVID lockdown transition time, we observed how the high level of social comparison produces beneficial effects on the reduction of psychological distress (anxiety, stress, loneliness and life satisfaction). In the second study, the relationship between online social comparison and negative emotions (i.e. malicious envy), avoidance behavior and ill-being was observed. The various results of these studies will be described within a unitary theoretical framework.
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