The countdown has begun, but the fear of things that go bump in the night is not just a Halloween phenomenon. People are afraid of threats both real and imagined, from ghosts and poisonous snakes to tornadoes and demons.
Halloween Express analyzed more than 300,000 Instagram posts using the hashtag #scared to find out what fears people are talking about. According to the report, the biggest fear among Instagram users is the unknown, followed by the fear of going to prison.
Instagrammers in Maine posted most about being #scared nearly twice as much as the other states in the top five–Washington, D.C.; New York; Nevada; and Florida. When broken down by city, five California cities–Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Buena Park, Santa Clarita and Anaheim–made it into the top 10 most #scared. Several Florida cities showed up on the list of most #scared, as well: Orlando, Melbourne, Kissimmee and Miami Beach.
60 percent of the #scared posts included ghosts, making ghosts the creatures Instagrammers are most afraid of, particularly in Montana. The obsession with zombies seems to be resulting in real-life fear, giving them a second-place ranking in the list of most feared creatures. In Maine, people are most afraid of zombies, demons and ghouls, while Instagrammers in New Mexico are afraid of aliens and Nevadans are #scared of sharks.
Instagrammers aren’t just afraid of monsters–they’re afraid of things that occur in real life, as well. More than 25,000 of the #scared posts were about loneliness, which seems indicative of the isolation that comes with over engagement in social media and internet culture. Loneliness was followed by death, which was mentioned in more than 24,000 #scared posts.
Check out the full report for more data on the real and imagined fears of Instagram users.
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