How would you feel if you visited your therapist, doctor, or another confidential professional, then when scrolling through your TikTok feed later that evening, you see your therapist using your session as a ‘case study’ to share with their online following?

People are interested in people. That’s the simple reason why influencer marketing works as well as it does.

But why are we so obsessed with other people’s lives, and is it healthy that social media is feeding into the habit? Author at Medium, Tessa Schlesinger, lays out three reasons for our obsession with keeping eyes on the lives of others:

  1. People are interested in other people’s lives because they think that if they learn about the lives of others, they will find out what is wrong with their own.
  2. Some people live vicariously through the lives of others. The human brain is an incredible thing. The imagination does not differentiate between actual experience and what we are viewing or reading.
  3. Hearing about the failures of others makes some people feel good. It means that they are better than the people they read about, or at least not as unfortunate as the people they read about.

Alas, if we can indulge the lives of others while scrolling on our favourite social media platforms, it makes sense that those with stories to tell will play into this.

Oversharing online

Grace Browne, Staff Writer at health and science magazine, WIRED, uncovered the story of an individual who was astonished to discover that their therapist was posting videos discussing how to “make decisions quicker” and explaining why people “don’t have to apologise” for their feelings to her 50,000 followers.

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