anxiety and paranoia of hints in social networks

A woman who has just gone from ‘In a relationship’ to ‘Single’ on Facebook shares the song Nightmare at the amusement park of The Planets on your wall. The letter (I want you to know that I hope you end up hanging from a pine tree / When you see how stupid you have been / When you see that you have made it fatal) invites you to think that this relationship did not end in good terms. A boy shares on Instagram a photograph marking muscle in the gym with the phrase ‘Better than NEVER’. A young author millennial Share on Twitter the dates of your next signature and another person on Twitter soon writes "How heavy people are with the self-pomp". All these examples are real and seen by the eyes of this journalist in his walks over the years through various social networks.

The examples are part of this new type of indirect 2.0 that are known as Internet pseudomenciones and can reach different levels of complexity. The Atlantic He described this phenomenon as “the practice of talking about someone without making an explicit reference” and elaborating a differentiation between ‘subtuit’ and ‘supertuit’. Although the author of the piece was talking specifically about Twitter, the practice is applicable to all social networks.

The ‘subtuit’ consists of writing someone’s name but not mentioning it directly, which means that if the person pseudo wants to confront the author of the message, he will have to recognize that he is looking for his own name in social networks –ego searching– and look like an egocentric. The 'supertuit' is much more complex, because it is an indirect and ambiguous mention (here is the example of “How heavy people are with the auto pump”): “The authentic 'supertuit' eludes the answer, because it is so ambiguous that makes it impossible, ”they explained from The Atlantic, "Only a neurotic, a narcissist or a paranoid would ask after seeing something like that‘ Am I the person you are talking about? "

As described in The Atlantic, the pseudomención It seems to lead to a dead end: either they make the recipient of it as an egotist or as a paranoid. That is why the hints in social networks are a practice as subtle as perverse that makes the issuer a true Machiavelli of the digital age and the receiver can feel stress, discomfort, anger and discomfort, why does it happen? And, above all, can we put a brake on it?

«In social networks there is, in general, more conflict than in real life since empathy is not so present, which is generated face to face»explains to S Fashion Alfredo Oliva, Professor of the Department of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Seville and one of the pioneers in the investigation of the risk of new technologies in children and adolescents, «when you are facing someone, even if there is any conflict, you are observing the impact and emotion in the other, and this is not present through social networks, so attacking or hurting becomes easier because you are not seeing the consequences in your interlocutor ».

Oliva points out that, as in life offline, in the on-line There are many psychological processes involved behind each tweet, each photo on Instagram and each Facebook post, in terms of pseudomenciones: «One of the processes that generate greater discomfort among users has happens when passive use of social networks is made and the user is constantly observing what they write and what other people do: as usual it is for people to climb cool photos or share happy moments of your life, social comparison processes are generated towards everything that we are continually exposed and, in people who already have a predisposition of character, can generate feeling of envy or frustration for an unmet need ”, explains Oliva, «Why am I going to indirectly attack another person? Because deep down I am comparing myself, it causes me frustration and this leads to an aggression or an attack, in this case a verbal aggression in the form of a tweet ». In the examples cited at the beginning, it is likely that the first two people have not yet overcome their previous relationship and, the third, may be frustrated that they are not getting what the other person has achieved.

"It is no different in real life, but in real life the direct attack requires more courage and courage," says the professor, "deep down, that toxicity may have to do with narcissistic and insecure personalities, who enjoy or They feel good hurting other people and social networks either thanks to anonymity, distance or no other presence, puts many facilities. These personalities are contained more in real life but on the Internet they find the breeding ground to give free rein ».

Aunt, do you think this goes for me?

So you've read a tweet or read a phrase on Instagram that you think is going for you, what to do in these cases? Unfollowing, silencing or blocking that person can be effective to stop reading those malicious comments that you wish you had not seen, but if the situation affects levels of stress and anxiety, Alfredo Oliva recommends moving away from the Internet and social networks: «Ideally, reduce usage time, establish more active and positive use and meet your needs in other ways. Basically, people who are so aware of what they say about them, are surely people with unmet needs and it would be advisable to address those needs, which may have to do with social acceptance, for example, in other contexts.

Beware the imaginary audience

Like the pseudomenciones They are often extremely subtle, it is possible that this ‘supertuit’ has nothing to do with you, but you have seen it as an aggression. Oliva points to the concept of imaginary audience, with which one must also be careful: «There is a characteristic feature of adolescence that is what we call the imaginary audience and it is the period in which adolescents are very aware of themselves and therefore they think that everyone else is pending too. This feature would explain both the extreme shyness of many teenagers and the overexposure they can make of their life on social networks. And this is not lost at all as adults: to the extent that this feature has more presence, it could give the feeling that people talk about one even if it is not real, and it can lead you to be more aware of the comments of others".

It is not a social media problem

With the Internet, neologisms came to our ears to explain new realities but that does not mean that the behaviors are entirely new, but that they occur in other contexts. The fact of using the word ‘stalkear’ to refer to social gossiping to another person does not mean that gossip or even harassment did not exist before. Likewise, the Internet has not caused the appearance of harmful hints, it has simply given them new platforms on which to develop.

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