Those of you who have been waiting for a scientific reason to tell some of your friends to stop cluttering your Facebook News Feed with a new photo every 5 minutes need wait no more. A new study out of the UK examining the effects of sharing photos on social networks recently found that uploading too many photos (as well as the wrong type) can actually make people like you less.
The study — a collaboration between four UK Universities titled Tagger’s Delight? Disclosure and liking in Facebook: The effects of sharing photographs amongst multiple known social circles — offers concrete proof that over-sharing can actually harm your relationships.
“Our research found that those who frequently post photographs on Facebook risk damaging real-life relationships,” explains lead author Dr. David Houghton. “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.”
But it’s not just the number of photos you share, it’s the type as well. Sharing self-photos (looking at you, selfie nation) lead to a decrease in “support and intimacy” in almost every situation. And sharing a lot of photos of yourself with other friends has a negative impact on even your close friendships.
Finally, it turns out brands also need to take note. When brands use competitions to ask you to post photos of yourself holding their product, it actually negatively affects your relationships with your friends.
The full report is an academic paper that gets a bit hard to understand at times, but if you’d like to read it for yourself you can do so here. If you’re not up for all that, however, a good rule of thumb might be to keep the selfies to a minimum and, just in general, don’t get too carried away when uploading pics to Facebook — in time you might not have anyone left to like them…