Don’t Let Facebook Make You Miserable

Excerpt from this article:

IT is now official. Scholars have analyzed the data and confirmed what we already knew in our hearts. Social media is making us miserable.

We are all dimly aware that everybody else can’t possibly be as successful, rich, attractive, relaxed, intellectual and joyous as they appear to be on Facebook. Yet we can’t help comparing our inner lives with the curated lives of our friends.

I Deleted My Facebook Account and This is What I Found

Excerpt from this article:

Facebook has become a swamp of crass and obnoxious street fights and post-election hysteria where people are judging and sentencing others on the spot. It is the mecca for confrontational sound bites, click traps, and associated public lynching’s where people are hung on the spot if they dare to have their own opinion.

Moving On

A few weeks before the election I had had enough. I posted my goodbyes and announced that anyone wishing to contact me that didn’t have my number to reach out. This act was met with fear and uncertainty as I contemplated the action…

Immediately I felt a sense of weight lifted from my shoulders. The air seemed cleaner and the world brighter. “What would I do with my non-Facebook time?” I was excited, I contemplated the things I could do. Read an extra news story, perhaps write an article or two. Although the time I spent on Facebook only amounted to 10–15 minutes spanning the whole day. It had become time wasted. It had become a weight, and source of anger and resentment that lasted much longer than the time I dedicated to the act. As Facebook has evolved to its current state, it no longer served me and actually had become a weight of toxic proportions. This realization was not clear until it was no longer in my life.

Today, about four weeks later, I no longer miss it. I enjoy the reading of that extra story, have had several normal conversations with the people that are close to me. I’ve even spoken to a friend, previously connected with on Facebook, at a coffeehouse; in person. It was a marvelous experience.

 

When You Fall in Love, This Is What Facebook Sees

Excerpt from this article:

Facebook might understand your romantic prospects better than you do.

…The company’s team of data scientists announced that statistical evidence hints at budding relationships before the relationships start.

As couples become couples, Facebook data scientist Carlos Diuk writes, the two people enter a period of courtship, during which timeline posts increase. After the couple makes it official, their posts on each others’ walls decrease—presumably because the happy two are spending more time together.

Your Status Hijacking Game Is NOT About Cancer Awareness

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Excerpt from this article, about which Paul Matheson asked me to share this comment – “These awareness games do not make anyone Do anything”:

“It’s confirmed! I’m going to be a daddy” reads a friend’s Facebook status update. So I click the ‘Like’ button and type “Congrats!” into the comments.

Seconds later, I get this message sent to my Inbox:

Lol , you should not have liked or commented. Now you have to pick from one of these below and post it as your status. This is THE 2015 BREAST CANCER AWARENESS game. Don’t be a spoil sport, pick your poison from one of these and change your status, 1) Diarrhea again?! 2) Just used my boobs to get out of a speeding ticket 3) How do you get rid of foot fungus 4) No toilet paper, goodbye socks. 5) I think I’m in love with someone, what should I do? 6) I’ve decided to stop wearing underwear 7) it’s confirmed, I’m going to be a Mommy/Daddy! 8)Just won £900 on a scratch card. 9) I’m getting married. Post with no explanations. So sorry, I fell for it too. Looking forward to your post. Shhh don’t ruin it!

…The more I think about this, the more offensive it is. My sister is recovering from breast cancer. My mother died from cancer. How is this manipulative status hijacking “game” about raising awareness for breast cancer?

…The ice bucket challenge was important in another way: it forced action and donations as integral parts of the awareness campaign, resulting in millions of dollars being raised for research into a cure for ALS.

By contrast, this thoughtless Facebook status hijacking game has not raised one cent; has not educated about early detection or treatment. It has done nothing, except get people’s backs up.

‘The end of Trump’: how Facebook deepens millennials’ confirmation bias

Six out of every ten millennials (61%) get their political news on Facebook, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center.

Excerpt from this article:

For millennials who have never known an election without Facebook, the political landscape of the social media network has massive implications for the upcoming contest between Hillary Clinton and Trump – not least of which because of Facebook’s outsized influence on their exposure to political news.

Six out of every 10 millennials (61%) get their political news on Facebook, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, making the 1.7 billion-user social behemoth (which includes more than 200 million in the United States) the largest millennial marketplace for news and ideas in the world. But within Facebook’s ecosystem exists a warren of walled gardens, intellectual biomes created by users whose interest in interacting with opposing political views – and those who are them – is nearly nonexistent.

“Baby boomers are the most likely to see political content on Facebook that supports their own views,” said Amy Mitchell, the director of journalism research at Pew Research Center. “Thirty-one percent of baby boomers on Facebook who pay attention to political posts say the posts they see are mostly or always in line with their own views, higher than both Gen Xers and millennials.”

But baby boomers are the least likely to get their political news from Facebook – unlike millennials.

 

We Need a Word for the Feeling of Mingled Happiness and Jealousy Caused by Facebook

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Excerpt from this article:

The heaviest users of Facebook believe that other people are happier. News feeds contain numerous “envy-inducing incidents,” and the more you skim, the more you compare yourself to others, leading to “invidious emotions.” Looking at your friends’ babies and vegetables might seem like a good idea at the time, but all those Anne Geddes shots will probably just make you sad.

But “sad” isn’t nearly a nuanced enough word for the confusing concoction of emotions at play. It’s sadness borne of envy—because your friend has what you want. Even acknowledging such envy can make you sadder, because you realize that underneath the jealousy, you really are genuinely happy for your friend. And there’s self-disappointment in the mix: You should be able to rise above your own jealousy, right? Aren’t you a good friend?

…This word doesn’t appear to exist in the English language, and a quick survey of world languages didn’t uncover it. The feeling turns “schadenfreude” on its head: Instead of happiness over others’ misfortune, it is closer to sadness over others’ success. I’m not a fan of clumsily flipping “schadenfreude” around and calling it freudenschade—although many have had this idea before. Perhaps if we made it freundenschade, layering in the German word for “friend”?

A close pal, upon being informed of the topic of this post, had an immediate, great suggestion: “frenvy.” But it turns out that someone else on the Internet already came up with that word. (I was relieved, as I’d loved the term immediately, and was a little bit jealous—frenvious?—that he, not I, had dreamt it up.)