Why is it that I go on Facebook to kill time when Facebook may actually be killing me over time?
A recent study of Facebook, conducted jointly by two German Universities, has shed light on why I am so miserable some days and other days too darn happy to measure on a sensible happiness scale. 600 participants were studied while they logged on to Facebook and 1 in 3 were reportedly unsatisfied towards the end of their session. The study describes an interesting phenomenon the researchers call the self promotion – envy spiral. I follow you on Facebook (auto correct still tries to correct Facebook as face book, I think Mark Zuckerberg is working on that), because we are friends or acquaintances or I think I know you somehow, thus I am constantly updated with the pictures of that vacation you just went on or that new relationship you are engaging in. That would be all hunky dory and what not but now I am envious of your self-promotion of happiness. Your happiness is making me miserable… true Yin and Yang huh? Or maybe it’s the other way around? It’s likely one of us is making the other miserable 33% of the time.
We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,
Researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University told Reuters,
From our observations some of these people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site.
Now I know that YOU know at least one person that has left Facebook in the last month or so because of the “It takes up too much of my time” excuse, but maybe that person simply couldn’t stand being miserable anymore. It may also be that this self imposed misery is our fate as the internet has become a norm in our society, ultimately giving birth to news and information which can be received at the convenience of a click of a mouse. That is instantaneous misery available to you as long as you have access to the internet. One has to think that it may not only be Facebook and the internet that are causing our misery but also all of the advancements in technology which are meant to improve our quality of life.
So what if your better looking than me? I wouldn’t wear that out in public, makes her look trashy. I’m happy that you just got engaged and I’m still single! That trip to Burma seems like it is enjoyable, glad you could share it with me here in zero degree weather. But of course I’ll make it to the award ceremony where you will be receiving prestige and applause for your work in molecular biology!
So much stress… definitely bad for your health. Darn you Mark Zuckerberg and your new age sexiness.. you planned this world wide web gloat/grief relationship didn’t you?