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Is Facebook Doing More Harm than Good? 6 Reasons Why Facebook Is Making Us Unhappy

Is Facebook Doing More Harm than Good? 6 Reasons Why Facebook Is Making Us Unhappy
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A lot of questions about Facebook have arisen in recent weeks. One of the biggest ones is whether or not Facebook actually makes you unhappy. Is it true? It depends on the individual, but here are a few reasons Facebook might be doing you more harm than good.

1. Facebook is addictive.

Most of the people reading this will probably attest to the fact that Facebook can be extremely addictive. By definition, that makes it something that can cause harm to you, especially since if you can’t easily abstain from it. As we all know, addiction can be a dangerous thing, even with something as seemingly innocuous as a widely-used website.

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2. Facebook purposefully manipulates your emotions.

Facebook recently revealed that it performed an experiment on us in 2012 without our consent. Facebook tweaked almost 700,000 English-speaking users’ news feeds to find out if the content they viewed affected their moods. That particular study suggests that being exposed to positive content encouraged positive thinking, while being exposed to negative content encouraged negative thinking. The results of the study aren’t as important, though, as the fact that Facebook deliberately made hundreds of thousands of users unhappy. It was a huge violation of trust, perfectly demonstrating the harmful consequences of the social media outlet.

3. Facebook is the new playground.

Nowadays a lot of people, especially young people, are doing the majority of their socializing on the web, and on Facebook in particular. Like any kind of social environment, Facebook can be a place where unpleasant things are said and unhappy feelings are felt. Just because no one’s beating you up and taking your lunch money doesn’t mean you’re not dealing with bullies. Social media platforms like Facebook are just as likely to expose kids to ridicule or pain as the playground or school halls. Maybe moreso, in fact; we’ve all seen reports of emotional abuse that happened on Facebook or other social media. Actions on Facebook may not result in as much real world accountability, making it a place cruel people might flock to.

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4. Facebook reminds you of what you don’t have.

Are you single? Enjoy hearing about all the new relationships and engagements and wedlocks in your news feed. The same goes for seeing people socialize while you’re at home or getting promotions when you’re stuck at a dead end job. Chances are, being exposed to things you wish you had on Facebook will make you envious, which will in turn will make you unhappy.

5. Facebook is par of the Internet.

The web’s reputation is improving, but it’s still home to a lot of nasty stuff. The recent celebrity nude photos scandal is a testament to that. Facebook is less seedy than some other social media outlets because it discourages anonymity, but at the same time, it remains a part of the Internet. A lot of things on Facebook are liable to make you unhappy simply because it exists on the web, a place where a lot of people are ruder or more defiant than they would be face-to-face. A difference in opinion is more likely to lead to an argument on Facebook than the real world, for example.

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6. Facebook prevents engagement.

The New Yorker wrote a fascinating article explaining why there’s conflicting research on whether or not Facebook makes us unhappy. It theorized that the unhappy people are the ones who are using Facebook passively. By just scrolling through their news feeds or photos, they weren’t engaging. The people who benefit from Facebook are probably the ones creating content, contributing something to the world instead of just killing time. Boredom leads to unhappiness, and browsing Facebook is often something that people do when they’re bored or even something that bores them even further. If you’re feeling unhappy on Facebook but don’t want to give it up, consider becoming more active on it. Post status updates, contribute to discussions, share photos, etc. Just get involved!

Featured photo credit: Scott Beale via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?
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Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

Does technology have all the answers?

This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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Creating technological solutions transparently

This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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Technology as the connecting tool

Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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