Well I have never had a Facebook account, and I can get depressed just fine without it.
I know I had a brighter view of humans before Facebook. Now I know many of us are complete and utter morons. It does depress me some days.
There’s a line in that article about how people on Facebook tend to post about the happier events in their lives. The author clearly does not use Facebook enough…
Bonus question: Do we know for certain if Facebook has stopped manipulating the feeds?
I posted this article on my Facebook feed and coincidentally it was “liked” by the two people who seem to have the most perfect lives: wealthy, always traveling, younger and generally in great spirits. I wonder if they know that they have this effect on me or perhaps they are the least happy in real life?!?
I think there is also the problem of not being on facebook, and getting left out of everyones lives because of that. it’s a problem I encounter on a daily basis by not being on there. Everyone assumes I’m up to date with their live and they can’t be bothered to include me because it’s my own fault for not being on facebook…
I wonder if there is a difference between people who ‘friend’ absolutely everybody and their dog and people who solely keep track of close family/friends.
The only people I follow on FB are close relations and the only thing I see on there is family photos, occasinal jokes and shares of funny pics. There’s no drama and not much to be depressed about.
I wish I had your family. Mine seem to like sharing shit from Britain First and the Tea Party.
My dad does get into some really embarassing and strident conspiracy theories. I also have a childhood friend who began posting incessantly angry social justice stuff multiple times a day. But that’s where the ‘unfollow’ button is your best friend: Instant peace and quiet and nobody is the wiser.
This is not anecdotal. A few years ago at Forrester Research, we looked at the social media use of different classes of consumers, including consumers with different disease conditions. Correcting for age (youth is the main predictor of social media intensity), people with “depression and other mood disorders” significantly overindexed for social media use. I used to tell a joke that I couldn’t tell if social media made you depressed, or depression made you use social media (your premise here).
After thinking about it for all those years, I have a hypothesis. Chronic, clinical depression does indeed drive people into social media, in desperation. Social media does not cause chronic depression in otherwise mentally healthy people, but it can certainly make you more depressed for a few minutes as you compare your ordinary life to everyone’s wedding pics, baby pics, and vacation experiences.
I read this fairly quickly and tend to hate science press, but it seems to completely ignore all the news and click bait that appears in many people’s news feeds. Anecdotally, a lot of people say that they don’t watch the news because it makes them depressed. To blame the happy pictures of friends and family without at least examining the effects of the news links seems fairly irresponsible. Can’t see how anyone could draw any conclusions without at least considering it in some form. As a user of Facebook, I’ve noted that sharing a news article in general gets about 10% of the “likes” that sharing something about my personal life does. That doesn’t seem coincidental.
I think there is.
As a long-term depressive, I’ve tamed my social media to the point where it’s helpful, rather than harmful to me by using some fairly harsh rules, liberal use of the mute function and not airing my problems in public.
Also: http://www.fbpurity.com/ is utterly awesome.
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