Facebook Causes Depression! This is one of the latest headline explaining the evils of Social media in general, and the giant Facebook in particular.
A recent study from the University of Michigan is another recent article titled, “YOU BAD FACEBOOK”!
To say this was rather small study, 82 participants, is like saying she has a lot of Facebook friends, 14.
We should be able to get a better response on this post, carried out in the middle of the night, with no incentives. Lets test that by just by reading my comments then passing them along to someone else to read, don’t let me down now… If we can pass the 100, I will give you each a personal hug and a coupon for something to be stated later. If not I too will slip into a deep state of depression and will sign up to become the first over 60 year old, Justin Bieber Fan.
But I digress, the study concluded that the more people used Facebook, over a two-week period, the more their “life satisfaction” levels, dropped or the more depressed they became. This was done by asking the students every couple of hours to compare their state of well being with their perceived satisfaction of their lives. They found that the negative effect increased the more time a person used Facebook.
I don’t know about you but when I am on the computer, I am working, looking something up, or trying to escape into the little box through Facebook. If you were to come by and interrupt me by asking every two hours how my state of well-being is, I can assure you before the two weeks go by, it will become lower and ending with someone screaming, “HE PUNCHED ME! I THINK MY NOSE IS BROKEN!”
Would you become more depressed because of Facebook or the people studying you? Perhaps the study is more on the negative affects of being studied.
In yet other studies by Humboldt University and Darmstadt Technical University, stated that besides depression, envy, scorn and bitterness also increased due to the massive amount of social information about their friends and community members they were exposed to.
Of course this is silly. I am not jealous, I am delighted you were able to buy a new Mercedes last week even though I can’t afford to fix the transmission in my old Chevy. And for heaven sakes don’t read this as a metaphor for the German vs. US economies, just because we bombed them back to the stone age in the last war is no reason to be depressed by the fact we can’t see the sun anymore because of the smoke from fossil fuels and they are using their now clean bright sunshine for feeding their power lines.
The authors of these studies suggest that the more opportunity we have to compare ourselves to others the more dissatisfied we become. The solution to happiness is easy then, look through your feed and un-friend anyone who seems to be better off or happier than you. I did this and now have two friends, you and a farmer in the high mountains of chile. Although come to think about it he seems happier, healthier and laughs more than me. I think i may un-friend him too.
I also deleted all the friends that have made negative comments about me, my friends and the color of my car. If friends don’t return texts or posts assume they have died, gone blind or really never mattered in the first place and push the delete button. The goal here is to get your friends list down to the select few, let people know they have to be special to be on your list. Follow these rules but still try to keep one or two friends.
Coupled with these problems, the feeling of depression can be brought on by photos others post of you in unflattering positions, such as having your head in the toilet bowl. Equally depressing are the photos of ex’s or people you don’t like that are also posted by friends showing them doing fun things, partying with celebrities, going on holidays to exotic places or showing off new jewellery! According to this last study this not only adds to depression, but also can cause the fear of missing out. I don’t have this problem but I do check every couple of hours to make sure that there is nothing going on that I should be at.
Facebook can also cause narcissism according to the Michigan study, as older users are more likely to fuel their narcotic (narcissism – now wasn’t that spell correction a Floydian slip) levels trying to impress others. That is one problem I don’t have but dumb people really do drive me crazy. I dislike to butt in on posts between people I have never heard of just to point out how wrong they are. Of course their first reaction might be not to believe me so I preciphis it with some of the degree’s I almost got or bought on line, experiences I have heard of and now adopt as my own or things people are always saying about me when I am listening, so they understand how important I am when it comes to this subject. Of course once I have presented the perfect argument I don’t go back so they can beat me up with logic, that way I am secure in my world.
Social media now has over 700 million users submitting an endless steam of stories so it may be unhealthy to keep adding more friends, yet that is part of the culture as well. I have 800 friends how many do you have? 1,500? Now my inner voice goes to work as this obviously points out one more way I am not as good as you.
There are so many articles by reputable sources such as these University studies, and large mainstream media companies that it is hard to keep up to the latest finding on anything.
On the other hand what about the good side of social media?
It kept the kids off the street until the smart phones caught up. Now they sit in the same room and post to each other, which at least makes the buses quieter.
The reconnecting with long lost friends and acquaintances can also be very rewarding especially if their lives appear to have turned out shittier than yours! So for every person who becomes depressed on Facebook there is another who is gaining a false sense of self worth and I think that is important too.
So if Facebook is getting you down, don’t become depressed, become a carrier instead!