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

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

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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More by this author

Matt OKeefe

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

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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