Facebook Really Is Bad For You, Researchers Say

Apparently, Chamath Palihapitiya was on to something when he revealed earlier this week that he felt “tremendous guilt” for the role that he played in Facebook’s success as a social-media company.

To wit, Facebook's director of research David Ginsberg and research scientist Moira Burke published a blog post this week explaining that, in some instances, the social network can have a deleterious impact on an individual’s overall mood and health.

"University of Michigan students randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10 minutes were in a worse mood at the end of the day than students assigned to post or talk to friends on Facebook," the blog post said. "A study from UC San Diego and Yale found that people who clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than average in a survey."

In other words, using Facebook to mindlessly browse through your feed or click posts can leave you in a foul mood after.

However, the research wasn’t exclusively negative. Facebook also worked with Carnegie Mellon University and found that "people who sent or received more messages, comments and timeline posts reported improvements in social support, depression and loneliness." Likewise, Facebook said students at Cornell who used Facebook for 5 minutes while viewing their own profiles saw "boosts in self-affirmation," while folks who looked at other profiles did not.

Chamath Palihapitiya

In other words, using Facebook to interact with people - as opposed to just "browsing" as the University of Michigan study analyzed - seemed to have a positive effect on people

Facebook says it's going to take this data and work to encourage more social interaction among users  to try and cut down on those who spend it to waste time and, ultimately, feel worse after.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s research showed that social support can help prevent suicide.

Facebook is in a unique position to connect people in distress with resources that can help. We work with people and organizations around the world to develop support options for people posting about suicide on Facebook, including reaching out to a friend, contacting help lines and reading tips about things they can do in that moment.

Toward the end of its post, Facebook acknowledged that it hadn’t yet had time to discover “all the answers” – though the company recently pledged $1 million toward research to better understand the relationship between media technologies, youth development and well-being to determine how Facebook has affected the attention spans of its users.

While Palihapitiya later walked back his assertion that Facebook is “ripping apart the fabric of how society works” after being brutally flamed on Twitter for his purported hypocrisy, the notion that Facebook is making its users sick and miserable is certainly nothing new.

As we pointed out in August, even though post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. Social media has pushed them to the brink of a mental health crisis.

Comments

Escrava Isaura DingleBarryObummer Sat, 12/16/2017 - 09:14 Permalink

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Facebook Really Is Bad For You, Researchers Say You could say the same about the phone, for the most part. And blogging as well. It’s not that much different.  

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

wolfnipplechips Byte Me Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:11 Permalink

The Bookface has been instrumental in ushering in the age of massive virtue-signaling. That's all it is, really.  Most people don't have the fortitude to speak the truth, even in the light of reason and evidence. They rather fall in line with their "online" peers becasue they are fake and only care about what others think of them, not what's right.

In reply to by Byte Me

OverTheHedge Bastiat Sat, 12/16/2017 - 14:07 Permalink

It's good for keeping in touch with family and it's great for specialist groups - join a bunch of like-minded people who do the same thing you do, and you will learn huge amounts, As an example!e, if you want to learn more about curing meat, or bow hunting, or spearfishing , then join a group and share information. Looking at sad photos of dogs dressed in santa outfits on Bored Panda will just waste your life, and is why your wife has the Facebook account, and you don't. Everybody wins.

In reply to by Bastiat

waspwench Bastiat Sat, 12/16/2017 - 15:17 Permalink

As with so many things in this world, it all comes down to whether you control it, or it controls you.

Some people will benefit from FB and others will harm themselves. Usage by children definitely ought to be carefully supervised, if permitted at all.

Personally, I don't use FB, don't like it, don't trust it and would never have anything to do with it, but I am, after all, a paranoid, conspiracy theorist, privacy nut, neurotic ZH reader so, for some folks.....

In reply to by Bastiat

Ghost of PartysOver DingleBarryObummer Sat, 12/16/2017 - 09:17 Permalink

So FB pays for a study that makes them look good or at least not so bad.  Sounds to me like they are trying to get out in front of a coming storm.  Putting a spin on things that makes it look a whole lot better then reality.    No difference here than any other company or political operation trying to mold public opinion.   All Social Media is psychological manipulation for either money or power.  Jump off this disastrous freight train while you still can and do a digital detox.

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

Escrava Isaura Ghost of PartysOver Sat, 12/16/2017 - 09:36 Permalink

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You could use your post to describe Bitcoin. Wonder why? The only 3 jobs that matter are harvesting food, raising live-stock, and mining. Everything else is just servicing.  

In reply to by Ghost of PartysOver

Endgame Napoleon DingleBarryObummer Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:18 Permalink

Some people use these platforms as an outlet for a hobby. Some people just like to write. These are the people who hated the multiple choice tests in school, but loved the papers.

Some people use them to advertise businesses, rather than starting a site that might not get indexed by search engines. This has likely caused a lot of damage to web developers and graphic designers, only a handful of whom will ever get one of the 4,000 FB jobs. But then, so have sites like Etsy and the multiple, do-it-yourself website options, like Weebly. But if FB had never been created, someone else would have done the same thing to undermine the small-fry contractors.

The thing that is bad, like others pointed out, is the deluge of show-off pages, where people either promote their lives as perfect or do the opposite, recklessly putting up stuff that might damage them in later life endeavors.

Why? Because, despite the cutesy-on-steroids family photos that grace not only FB, but every cubicle of every frequently absentee bully momma employee and her equally absentee momma manager’s office, humans are often predatory, preferring to capitalize or prey on any online weakness that they see or even strengths that might not sit well with managers for whatever emotional, egotistical or 100% unprofessional reason.

I see people posting baby pics that glorify their families, using that in family-centric workplaces with close to 100% childbearing-age mom employees, just like they use participation in things like Family Fay Picnics and baby-mommy-look-alike-bulletin-board-decorating contests. They use it as a measure of work performance. They use [social things (in general)] to identify enployees who are all-important “culture fits,” as opposed to gauging work productivity by things like everyday and all-day attendance, a higher number of new business sales generated and/or a higher number of accounts retained.

FB is [one] tool in the crony-parents’ toolbox, the use of which played a small role in generating a widespread, discriminatory workplace trend, where moms with unearned income from spouses, ex spouses or monthly welfare and child tax credits of up to $6,444 dominate whole job categories because of unearned income that enables them to work for low wages. FB is not the computer innovation that helps these moms in their collusion on absenteeism; it the time clock.

Many of the mom cronies click themselves out while still there, clicking themselves back in in exactly 1 hour, and then, they take a 2-hour “lunch,” followed by leaving at 2:30, something they do every day, with their morning absenteeism likewise excused by mom managers who feel that school traffic is more of a burden to sit in for people who have reproduced. The time clock is not used for the many excused weeks off for things like baby travel soccer unless the well-vacationed mom manager does it.

FB is just a tool for these mom-protection rackets in workplaces, a tool that is often in use as you pass the cubicles of crony-mom workers to fetch more work from the manager who will inevitably churn you, not the moms who, when not absentee, are posting pics to glorify their kids on FB at work. But these mom gangs in workplaces have MANY, many other tools to aid their always rewarded unprofessionalism.

The other thing I have seen people doing on there is posting the show-off pics of youth: photos of girls advertising their figures in flattering clothing, photos of parties, etc. I remember the feeling of comparing myself constantly to other girls, which increases insecurity, but I do not see how TV is any better for young women in that way. It is probably worse.

The worst thing is that people who know these FB posters — their friends, their families — see those images and words, and despite all of the 24/7 glorification of angelic working families, it might not be a good thing in many cases. Families have members who compete against each other or who are close to some family members, not others. I have noticed an absolute ton of parents, promoting their own kids to pump up their own egos, relative to the kids of other family members.

Give them a $6,444 child tax credit, not just to reward sex and reproduction, but to reward this sort of egotistical, digital family pageantry, in addition to all of their excused, back-watching time off from work that goes far beyond PTO and multiple pregnancy leaves. Triple the child tax credit, rather than doubling it for these “working families” who are often working part time to add keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ $$$$ to an ample spousal income or to stay below the earned-income limit for welfare.

Make this FB family pageantry display more lucrative, towering even more over the $18,189 EARNED-only per capita income that [individuals] in states like Alabama, not to mention most of the adjoining states in a chain stretching all the way to Texas, are forced to live on, with rent consuming more than half of their pay. Now, that is depressing.

FB is one of many platforms that people use to gain unfair workplace advantages, but it is also used just to post innocuous things, humorous things. It is used as a tool to plan parties and other things that have no negative connotations.

He should not feel guilty about what HUMANS use FB for. It is the choice of those humans to use FB as a platform for harmless purposes or to be **********, putting up everything from malicious gossip that can be totally untrue, to partial truths, to content that is just pure cattiness, used to boost up their egos by tearing individuals down. Unlike anon sites, it does give people with those bad motives a chance to go after particular individuals that they want to damage.

There is a lot of that among young bullies who, likewise, do that in-person in schools, and due to the law of apples and trees, their bully mommas do a ton of that online and in workplaces, too.

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

JuliaS A. Boaty Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:42 Permalink

Sure, but here at Hedge O Plenty everyone comes to share positive vibes, and the optimistic outlook about the future. Right?! Us, people at site A, who are always superior to people at site B.You know, how a day here leaves everyone positive and sleeping well at night? You don't?! Well neither do I. In fact, I remember not coming here for a month, just to see what would happen. And guess waht? By the end of the 1st week I was cured of my depression. When I came back, and looked at whether I missed out on anything, it was az if I never left. Here at ZH, where it's the end of the world, all day, everyday, except today.Facebook bad, ZH doubleplusgood! Yap yap.I recall the good old days on Digg, where days were sometimes spent with Reddit and Digg users trashing eachother. 'Our side' somehow always happens to be superior to 'their' side.

In reply to by A. Boaty

Majestic12 JuliaS Sat, 12/16/2017 - 14:16 Permalink

"'Our side' somehow always happens to be superior to 'their' side."

That is the purpose of FB...

Keep us all distracted from looking "up", while AI collects every aspect of FB user "behavior" to "mimic"...

If AI told you about a stock tip, under the profile of your "insider"...would you know the difference?

Its just like ZH....who pays trolls because the original owners are long gone and it is now owned by the NSA...

In reply to by JuliaS

MusicIsYou Davidduke2000 Sat, 12/16/2017 - 10:01 Permalink

It's where the zombie borg go to share ideas and to lose more of their In-person interpersonal skills. There's nothing worse than being amongst a group of Facebook addicts during the holidays. In that most of the FB users are losing their tolerance for uncomfortable conversation and uncomfortable environment. FB users aren't growing their mental state because they search out like-minded people, they're actually regressing.

In reply to by Davidduke2000

nmewn Sat, 12/16/2017 - 08:23 Permalink

Fuck FacebookOk, I'll go ahead and say it only because everyone else seems to be avoiding it, what did Obama know and when did he know it?

D503 nmewn Sat, 12/16/2017 - 08:55 Permalink

Once you slap a label on it suddenly it is the problem eh? I never saw anyone get rich by voting for either puppet hand. Aren't the "liberals" just perfectly tailored for you to hate them, obsess over them and their stupid antics, and completely ignore anything besides jobs jobs jobs, tranny rights, abortion, marriage, and any other intangible issue for you to fret over?

In reply to by nmewn

BigJim nmewn Sat, 12/16/2017 - 09:24 Permalink

Obama knew something? I think you're giving him too much credit.As for Facebook, it's a tool. For the Deep State, it's* a tool for monitoring the population and disseminating propaganda. For the user, it's a useful tool for keeping up with far-flung friends and disseminating ZH articles and pieces that illuminate the corrupt nature of the State and "our" monetary system.... most of which will be ignored by the more sheep-like amongst my FB "friends". But not all.*as is ZH, I suspect

In reply to by nmewn

nmewn BigJim Sat, 12/16/2017 - 09:47 Permalink

I gotta say, I'm getting a little sick and tired of the Dinduism.When an MIT professor correctly says "Call it the stupidity of the American (progressive) voter or whatever." they look around like, wut? Who, me?Is Eric Holder going to be indicted for running guns to narco-terrorists FOR THE EXPRESSED PURPOSE OF DEAD MEXICAN CITIZENS turning up on the street corner or not? What about Holders actions being directly responsible for the murder of Brian Terry, an Amercian citizen? We lettin that one slide too? The blatant obstruction of justice in Hillary simply destroying emails that were UNDER SUBPOENA, we all ok with that? How about using THE GOVERNMENT as the police-spy agency and propaganda wing of the Democrat Party, we all still good with that?These fuckers come into office like a goddamned wrecking ball and everyone expects me to calm down just because some of them are gone?Not likely, I'm just getting ramped up. 

In reply to by BigJim