The Dress and Social Media

dress-collageYou know what dress we’re talking about – the one that in reality is blue and black but looks white and gold under certain lighting. The question of its color went viral after a photo of it appeared on Tumblr last week. After only two days, Facebook was alive with the controversy and over 11 million tweets had been made arguing about the true shades of the two-tone dress.

But the important question isn’t actually what color the dress is. If it were, the scientific explanation for the discrepancy in visual perception would have gained as much attention as the tweets about the dress itself. But of course, it didn’t. The real question is: why did it go viral at all?

What is the role of social media in our daily lives? With all of the tension in the globe today – the rise of the brutal ISIS, the unstable world economy, the fears of a nuclear Iran, war in the Ukraine, threats from North Korea, to name a just few – it’s not a surprise that people turn to light subjects to lower their stress levels. Pseudo-conflicts are a means of deflecting tangible anxiety over real world conditions. Instead, we latch onto hassles we can spar about with good nature and jokes. We know that these are finite and can be solved. We naturally prefer to focus on pleasant topics and, research shows, we use more positive words in our communications than negative ones.

We utilize the Internet to reach out to others and enjoy the connections available on social media. Studies indicate that friendships are associated with a longer and more satisfying life. And today women use sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, to connect with others in their groups. Women are on social media, particularly Facebook, more than men and surveys find that their stress levels are somewhat lower than if they didn’t use the web in this way.

So enjoy surfing the net and hanging out on your preferred social media outlets – just remember to come back and visit us often here at for insights about your family-in-flux.

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