Stop Posting About Your Vacation on Social Media Immediately, Says New Study

“Braggeth not about thine five-star vacation,” says a wise old proverb that was recently confirmed by new research. While showboating the luxe extravagances and once-in-a-lifetime pleasures you’ve experienced while on holiday may seem like a great way to bolster your social mobility, new research suggests that bragging about your vacation may in fact negatively affect your social life. You know why? Because nobody likes a braggart, that’s why. But also because apparently people bond in solidarity over ordinary and even less-than-enjoyable experiences. This is pertinent, of course, as you consider right this very moment whether you’ll share this information on your social media, because we’re a generation who doesn’t know how not to share.

In a study conducted by Harvard University and published in the Psychological Science journal, researchers developed a scale for measuring happiness by showing a group of 76 individuals short movies and asking them to rate them as either “extraordinary,” meaning they left the film with good experiences, or “ordinary,” for when the film was either subpar or unenjoyable. Having developed a spectrum of happiness, they then showed these films to 68 new test subjects and asked them to discuss their films afterward. What they found, oddly, was that those who watched the “extraordinary” films felt they had the best angle for making good conversation, but ultimately the opposite occurred. Afterwards, the viewers were both polled and participated in group discussions. Those who’d seen the “ordinary” films preferred not to hear about the superior films, and favored discussing the ordinary flicks instead.

The full scope of the benefits and repercussions about running your mouth regarding your most recent sojourn can be read here. But the takeaway here is that, basically, people prefer not to hear about adventures to which they themselves have no immediate access. Instead, it seems, we’d all favor solidarity in mediocrity (or something). And in an age where we share everything all of the time, it’s wise to keep the excess of posts about your “totally awesome” holiday to yourself. Below, some suggestions of things to avoid:

Pictures of your food

Ask yourself the following question: Is this plate a work of art that will inspire the cultural curiosity of literally any one person in my feed? No? Then put your phone down and enjoy your meal without the added pressure of losing followers.

Hot dog legs on the beach

Please refer to this Tumblr to remind yourself why this is both silly and unnecessary.

Taking a selfie in front of a memorial

Or doing any kind of anything in front of a memorial. In fact, let this span to artwork as well. In fact, maybe just post nothing.