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Dottoré!

Social Media Envy Is More Than Just Your Imagination

Our Naples psychiatrist's view on unrealistic social media standards, feeling inadequate, and the price of happiness.

Photo of a heart icon on a smartphone

The hidden price of a single "like"

Mariateresa Fichele

Some of my female patients are struggling with the way life is exposed on social media. It is becoming extremely problematic not only in relation to the beauty standards exhibited online, but also the family models that are exposed.

Some women — who struggle with their role as working women and mothers or housewives — have difficulty in understanding that behind a bright young entrepreneur who constantly shows herself on social media as a loving mother and wife, immersed in an opulent and perfect reality, there is a hidden world of waiters, nannies, makeup artists, hairdressers, drivers, airplane pilots and photographers, who certainly do not appear in videos and Instagram stories.


My job, in dealing with these patients, is to relieve them of the sense of frustration and inadequacy that arises from the comparison, trying to bring them back to the level of reality. And yet it may be reality itself that is the biggest obstacle in any of my therapeutic efforts.

For it is looking ever more true what one of my patients, Gennaro, once told me: "Dottoré, this story that money doesn’t buy happiness is bullshit. It was invented by the rich to comfort and trick those who have nothing…”


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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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