A survey has revealed the North East is the third most insecure region when viewing other people’s social media photos.
The research conducted by safe.co.uk found more than a quarter (39 per cent) of people surveyed in the region feel insecure when viewing people’s photos on social media, compared to the national average of 34 per cent.
As well as this, nearly 90 per cent of people in the North East believed people only keep or upload their best pictures.
Dr Helen Driscoll, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Sunderland, said: “Although the idea that beauty is skin deep is a common cliché, physical attractiveness has always been an important factor in our mate choice decisions.
“This is because physical attractiveness does provide information about things such as genetic quality (which will be passed on to offspring) and health and fertility (which affect the ability to reproduce).
“We know from the behaviour of others that physical attractiveness is important, and therefore there is commonly a drive to present ourselves as attractively as possible.
“This can allow us to simultaneously display our mate quality to potential partners and to compete with potential rivals for these partners,” said Dr Driscoll.
“This tendency extends to the photos we upload to social media as we seek to present ourselves in the best possible light.
“Uploading photos which perhaps make us appear more attractive than we are in the flesh may seem counterproductive since this will be evident in face-to-face encounters, however once others believe us to be attractive, this perception may be persistent.”
Dr Driscoll continued: “Furthermore, in face-to-face encounters we may be able to rely on other qualities such as intelligence, humour, confidence and personality to compensate for discrepancies in attractiveness between our best photos and our true selves.
“We may even keep only the best shots of ourselves.
“One advantage of this is that looking at your best photos may convince you of your own attractiveness.
“This can be advantageous because if you believe you are attractive then you are more likely to convey an attractive image to others.”
The survey also revealed that keeping only our best images create false ‘happy’ memories of how times once were, with 53 per cent of people in the region believing they may have created a false memory after looking at a childhood photo.
Professor Martin Conway, head of psychology at City University London added: “What we need to remember is that in order to accurately remember times gone by we should be using other cues and tangible keepsakes – not just online photos – to store our memories most effectively.”