Monday, February 11, 2013

Is Facebook On Its Way Out?

by Kate Collins

Here's some surprising news. Two separate studies have emerged pointing to the conclusion that for all its popularity, Facebook is actually making people unhappy.

The first study, conducted by researchers from New Zealand's University of Canterbury
found that spending time on Facebook ranked among the 10 worst activities in terms of unpleasantness and lack of engagement. It was ranked as the least meaningful activity and the one that made people the second-most unhappy, surpassed only by recovering from illness.

In another study conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh Business School,  the more social circles people have represented among their Facebook friends, the more stressful they find Facebook to use. Apparently, seeing all the happy comments about other people's lives made them feel disappointed in their own lives.

I find these findings surprising because I enjoy getting on Facebook and reading all the news about people I know and even people I only know because  I see their names all the time. And I REALLY enjoy the jokes and cartoons. I've never felt bad about my own life because of Facebook or stressed out because of it.

Trying to meet a deadline is much more stressful than reading Facebook postings. In fact, I use Facebook as a diversion when I need a break. Yes, I'll admit, it's not the most meaningful activity I could do, but it's still fun.

What do you think? Do you find Facebook, or any of the other social media sites, like Google Plus, stressful? Does it make you feel bad about your own life? Let's conduct our own little study. 

Have a great week, and in the meantime, I'll see you on Facebook!

16 comments:

  1. I still use Facebook but I will agree that it isn't my primary source when I log into my computer anymore. I find I spend more time on Google+ mostly because I find Facebook to be filled with mostly wall posts of ecards and unhappy rantings about men or women. I also find more communities or groups participating on Google+ rather than Facebook.

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  2. It doesn't precisely make me unhappy...and there's nothing like it for keeping in touch with far-flung friends and relatives. What kills me are the endless reposts of false informations (the new versions of email forwards, I suppose). Those frustrate me to no end.

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  3. Facebook is what you make it. You can edit out what you don't want and you can be friends (or not) with anyone you please. I'm not one to be unhappy because others "seem" happy...things are not always as they seem. The fact is, playing games and fiddling on Facebook does help me keep my mind off my own problems for a bit...and that does make me happy!

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  4. I use facebook to keep in touch with family and friends. I've even found some long-lost to me relatives, so it's good that way.

    I've also noticed a few people who rant and rave...I think no matter where you end up, which social site you end up using there are going to be those unhappy people that seem to love drama and the attention they get from stirring up drama...just look at the people who post imflammatory book review comments, etc. They're probably also posting very unhappy and ranty posts on places like facebook, or even google +. It's just a matter of time before it catches up to what ever the newly popular website. That's people for you. Fortunately, there's also always fun posters, lots of laughs are out there also.

    I have an acquaintance that regularly posts angry comments, and then complains about people "hating" her on facebook. I ignore her posts until she posts something pleasant, then I might respond. It's healthier that way. :)

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  5. I enjoy FB. I've reconnected with the few people from high school I really cared about; I'm able to easily keep up with my college buds; and, I've met some new "friends" (OK, so it's electronic) that I have come to care for and relish contact with. I've even been able to "friend" some of my favorite authors.

    I celebrate my friends' successes and mourn their sadness. For me, reading about the good things in other people's lives uplifts me and reading about their challenges gives me perspective. So I see no downside.

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  6. I love Facebook! I can post pictures, keep updated on relatives, and chat with friends all over the world. I see no downside either.
    Krista

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  7. I do go on Facebook when I have nothing better to do. I guess I'm old fashioned. I like the phone instead of e-mail because it's more personal. I don't like putting pictures of my grandchildren on FB because you never know who can see it and get a fixation on a child. I have it set for only my friends but who is to stop a friend from copying a picture and sending it on. And then it can go anyplace. I must admit, I have found some former classmates on FB and I'm glad of that. If it goes away, I won't be sad. To me it is like a toy.

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  8. My Facebook account is only for everything book related, I follow authors and other bloggers there. I often just scroll quickly till the funny pics, or the announcements by favourite authors. If I enter a contest, following on Facebook is often required, and so I follow lots of authors I haven't read yet. But I do like the updates on their work and covers etc. from the authors I do read. And of course, Ellery and her baking pictures!

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  9. Yes, I do love FB for the news from all the authors and all the info about their new books. I would miss that if FB went away.

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  10. People who would get depressed reading about positive things in other people's lives have more issues than can be blamed on Facebook.

    While FB has it's negatives, there are defnite positives as well. I have reconnected, and stay in contact, with family and friends in other states. We share pictures and bits about our lives, and I feel closer to them. I have a nephew who we lost contact with years ago, and we were thinking of trying to hire someone to help us locate him. Then one day his wife (who we've never met) sent me a message on FB. We are now in constant contact with them and I have been able to watch their kids grow through pics on FB. I also enjoy "visiting" with and learning about the lives of my favorite authors. It makes their books seem much more personal - like reading a book written by a friend.

    So, FB is like anything else in life - it is what you make it. Frustrating? Yes. But also a valuable social tool if you use it properly and keep it all in perspective.

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  11. I am on Ravelry.com and a lot of us there are not on FB. I love Ravelry because we are actually doing things, not just talking. If I didn't stay in contact you after high school, college, etc it means I didn't want to.

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  12. I love Facebook. I love being able to easily keep in touch with friends and relatives (especially those who live far from me) and I love seeing the photos, and like to see what my favorite authors are up to. Doesn't make me unhappy one bit.

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  13. I am not surprised by these new findings. Only one in seven people are actually on Facebook, and I am not one of them, nor will I ever be one. Though many friends and family do use it, I know many more who do not--and several who recently deactivated their accounts. I do not beleive everyone in the world needs to know what I am doing every minute of the day, nor do i want to know someone else's every move.

    I am not on Google Plus or twitter, either. I spend plenty of time online without the above-mentioned distractions, and use Google Reader to keep up with favorite blogs and other sites, and GoodReads for all things book-related.

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  14. The majority is that Facebook is a happy thing, not a stressful one. Lynda, your first comment made me laugh. it's so true!

    I'll report these findings on....... Facebook!! Thanks, ladies, for commenting.

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  15. It is probably on the way out, as I started to use it more lately.

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  16. I use Facebook for a BREAK! I am busy working with animals almost all day long and need to sit for a few minutes and it's then FACEBOOK time. They do make people in groups mad when they won't allow someone to post because they think they've sent out too much - with Valentine's day large pet pages are getting in trouble for sending Valentine wishes to too many!

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