It looks like the age-old cautionary tale about a certain self-involved person named Narcissus really does have a point—and it seems to ring especially true in today’s social media-obsessed world.
According to a recent U.K. study, abusing one of the Internet’s most well-recognized social media phenomena can have very damaging effects outside Facebook and Instagram. Which really just means that posting too many selfies can hurt your real-world relationships (you know, the ones you have with living, breathing people.)
The study—conducted by the social media research team at Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University—found that if you “overshare” photos of yourself on Facebook, people start to dislike you. Simple as that.
“This is because people, other than very close friends and relatives, don’t seem to relate well to those who constantly share photos of themselves,” explained Dr. David Houghton, the study’s lead author. “It’s worth remembering that the information we post to our ‘friends’ on Facebook, actually gets viewed by lots of different categories of people: partners; friends; family; colleagues and acquaintances; and each group seems to take a different view of the information shared.”
The study looked at the photos 502 participants posted to their Facebook profiles, and then polled “friends” of the person on the “support” and “intimacy” they felt with the person in question.
“Increased frequency of sharing photographs of the self, regardless of the type of target sharing the photographs, is related to a decrease in intimacy,” the researchers noted in the study.
In layperson’s terms: Posting too many social media selfies will—contrary to your (likely) desired outcome of having your friends worship and admire you— actually alienate you from those very people.
Based on the fact that many people in fashion—we’re looking at you, bloggers—actually make a living on posting selfies, this study is definitely more than relevant.