Call it Facebook Addiction Disorder, Facebook Anxiety Disorder, Facebook depression, or Facebook unhappiness, we have all heard of issues of well-being related to public using the social arrangement too much.
And with visitors during January 2012 spending on average 405 minutes on Facebook.com, is there any wonder that a new study suggests that using Facebook spreads unhappiness and a large part of users on the site feel terrible if they can’t log in regularly?
So with Facebook predicted to reach 1 billion users this year, are we putting too much of our lives in Zuckerberg’s creation?
“Facebook spreads unhappiness,” was a headline in one of the leading daily Swedish newspapers a couple of days ago. Another article exclaimed: “One million Swedes suffer Facebook ‘angst’.” These are articles published as a results of a study, which started as an event on Facebook in June 2011 entitled “The largest Facebook study in Sweden.”
We have summarized some of the key findings from this study:
As you can see this makes for fantastic reading if you’re Facebook, but perhaps not so fantastic reading for society as a whole. Clearly, Facebook is an incredibly sticky site, with lots of users depending on it, indeed craving it, on a daily basis.
Where this gets even more fascinating though is when we combine it with results from additional studies. Then the picture gets a bit more worrisome if you’re Mark Zuckerberg.
Basically, what the Swedish study found – as questionable as the statistical significance of the results may be – is in line with findings from additional studies, linking public feeling terrible in different ways to using Facebook a lot.
A study published earlier this month suggests that “public who are more involved with the (sic!) Facebook are more likely to believe that others are more pleased and having a better life.”
The study stops small of drawing any conclusions in this area whether Facebook usage can lead to depression, but it does say that it’s simple to reckon that everyone else’s life is all sunshine, when in fact it’s probably not.
That skewed picture of reality is armored on social media networks such as Facebook, as clarified by a similar study published in 2011.
It comes to a similar conclusion, but added an explicit mention of social networking sites, such as Facebook. In that study we can read that sites like Facebook: “may exacerbate common misperceptions of others’ emotional lives because of the complete control that users have over the public image they project to the world through their photo albums, status updates, friendship networks, and so forth.”
So, basically, on Facebook users lie in this area their lives, or, at least, don’t tell the whole truth. And based on that distorted presentation, everyone else feels terrible, because they can’t keep up with the pleased life (they reckon) everyone else is living.
It’s simple to jump to conclusions when you read in this area study results like this, but there may be reason here to talk in this area an emerging pattern.
Do you reckon Facebook is becoming too huge and powerful, not just in the sense of having a lot of in rank in this area you in its data centers, but in the sense of having a grip over your life?
Is checking your Facebook account the initially thing you do in the morning? Make your confession in the comments.
Picture (top) via Shutterstock.
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