Why can Christmas make us want to break social networks?

This week (or even this whole month for the more Christmas strippers), social networks have sweated coniferous thorns and turkey stuffing. Snapshots of a perfect Christmas have invaded our news feeds. Nothing new in the world of Instagram or Facebook used to what the holidays rhyme with « fake ». « But we did not wait for Christmas for social networks to be a very idealized showcase of a world where everyone is beautiful, perfect and with luxury means, » says psychologist Michael Stora. Not false. Proof of this is the summer with the hashtag #VacancesDeReve that pops up every summer or the #Perfect Moms that we experience every day.

Christmas, however, remains a very special time for influencers. “Unlike the summer vacation which lasts two months, it is a fixed date, a collective meeting, analyzes Pauline Escande-Gauquié, semiologist and lecturer at the Sorbone University Celsa. It’s completely normalized and trivialized to share photos normally reserved for the family album. « So we are crumbling under posts, but also under hashtags because this wonderful party has the particularity of bringing together everything that usually feeds Facebook and company: decorations, food, party, family, friends or # decoration #foodporn #party # perfectfamily. That, or threading six candied chestnut logs without water = same fight.

Christmas staged like an ad

Christmas does not escape the aesthetic codes of social networks either, but here again, the red and green filter is in order. “Usually Instagram looks like a big bakery with lots of cute cakes. For the holidays, it’s a Christmas tree with lots of garlands! », Compares Michael Stora, also founder of the Observatory of digital worlds in human sciences.

“In the collective imagination, Christmas is a moment of re-enchantment. People come back to this fiction that the merchants tell us with their windows, their decorations. They reappropriate these normative, almost advertising codes to then stage in their own way these moments of joy ”, decrypts Pauline Escande-Gauquié, author of the book Monsters 2.0: the other face of social networks. A Christmas TV movie that we can watch with pleasure in these gloomy times, but which could quickly annoy some.

Caviar versus lumpfish roe on blinis

Yes you. Because it annoys you to see the children of this blogger mom from Marseille who wisely draw snowflakes while yours get intoxicated in the garden licking the snow from the bushes. It annoys you the small wild trout appetizers on a mint watercress emulsion, made by this Brazilian foodista. Because you, you will only be entitled to the poorly toasted lumpfish-blini eggs duo that your father will hand you as you slide in, looking amused: « a little caviar? » »You annoy your friend Sophie’s Christmas tree, which has so many decorations that you can’t even see the branches. Because you, you just put a feathered boa (a holdover from a Macumba party this summer) in your ficus, because your cat definitely doesn’t give you a choice.

And then it annoys you about the 18 family members in Texas who matched their clothes, when you’ve been trying to get everyone together for the group photo for an hour, but your sister refuses to pose next to you. your uncle antivax. In short, it annoys you because at home, absolutely nothing is Instagramable.

In fact, it annoys you « because the human being cannot help but compare himself », explains Michael Stora. “With Facebook or Instagram algorithms, we compare ourselves not to come together but to hate each other,” continues the expert. The algorithm introduces you to people who think like you, but have families that look more perfect or are much more wealthy than you. « 

And people like us, but better still, it’s annoying. « When you’re an average French and you keep seeing people in your contacts who are paying for things that you cannot afford, it can generate envy, jealousy, then revolt and anger. « Sprinkle it all with a race for » likes « and you will worsen this feeling of failure, assures the one who is also the author of the book (A) social networks! Discover the dark side of algorithms.

But how do you get out of it?

Pauline Escande-Gauquié gives a rather simple advice: “we don’t have to watch. Nobody puts your nose into the networks. If so much perfection annoys you, take a little break. Or take a step back. The expert notes, for example, that “the less emotional bond we have with a person (such as a famous influencer) the more we see their posts as fiction. But the more we are emotionally involved with someone, the less we manage to step back and the more the fiction becomes reality. « However, we must not forget that a photo remains a capture of a moment T. » Everyone is in a kind of ‘self fake’. A child who smiles in a photo may be doing so because his sister has just been scolded, ”illustrates Michael Stora. So, do you still prefer this little Machiavellian being to your children who lick the bushes?

Finally, the ultimate weapon advised by experts remains the second degree. « Kitsch decor, ugly sweaters, failed staging », details the semiologist. « This is what saves us and it’s a very interesting way of trolling this overexposure, overconsumption and over-idealization on the networks, » says Michael Stora. Good thing we launched a hashtag (one more for those who had not yet overdosed) # NoëlClaquéAuSol to finally bring a dream of glory and like en masse to all annoyed people.

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