MIND

THE ANTISOCIAL SIDE OF FACEBOOK

READING TIME: 4 MIN

When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook his goal was to help people connect and communicate more efficiently. With 1.1 BILLION USERS and 846 MILLION DAILY USERS, it just goes on to show that his goal might have been accomplished right? Well… that is for you to decide after reading this.

Facebook has really helped us get in contact with long-lost friends or family, but has it truly improved our communication skills? And above all is it really helping us socialize and CONNECT TO OTHERS? 

According to an article on Bloomberg Businessweek, Americans spend more time using Facebook than they do on their pets. In the United Kingdom, lawyers claim that Facebook is being cited in almost ONE IN FIVE of online divorce Petitions, this according to an article on The Telegraph (2009).

But this is just the tip of the iceberg of the problems Facebook has brought to many people across the globe. A study performed in 2013 by The University of Michigan showed that social media like Facebook increased people´s feelings of loneliness and detachment, which ironically is the reason many join the social media.

Below I have listen just three of the main problems Facebook has dragged to light.

Narcissism

 narciso

Psychologists Hazel Markus and Paula Nurius claimed that an individual has two selves: the “now self” and the “possible self”. Facebook is the perfect place where narcissism can flourish, by portraying the “possible self”.

NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITIES PREFER SUPERFICIAL CONTACT WITH OTHERS and preferably focused on themselves and they tend to be more active on social media like Facebook.

According to an article publish in The Guardian. The social media is creating a new generation of self-image obsessive people. Those who score highly on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire had more friends on Facebook, tagged themselves more often and updated their newsfeeds more regularly.

Distorted Reality

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We scroll the endless way down of the newsfeed page of our Facebook profile, reading and clicking on our “friends” posts. We see their “happy” lives, their perfect skin, their perfect body and their amazing spouse – that according to Facebook everyone has the best wife and husband in the world among other very personal details.

THE SOCIAL MEDIA IS A PERFECT CHANNEL TO MARKET OURSELVES IN THE WAY WE WANT TO BE PERCEIVED TO THE WORLD.

Psychologist Samuel Gosling argues that thru the process of learning about other people and wanting others to learn about us we begin to resent the image of ourselves, the image we feel we need to live up to.

Our true friends know us, but to the rest of the world we are a mystery, which opens an opportunity to be whom ever we want to be.

A virtual alternative to our lives, a place where popularity is measured by the amount of “friends” and “likes” we have, and where we look perfect with those Instagram filters.

Friend/Stranger?

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The reality is that a very high percentage of the people we have as “friends” are not really that, they are people we’ve casually met, family members we don’t even know, lost lovers, lost friends, people we work with, people we use to know and I don´t know about you, but I use to have people I even hated.

But how many? Out of all this hundreds, if not thousands of “friends” we have, are actually friends? Do we really want to share our lives with people we barely know?

What I find utterly interesting is how sometimes you have all this interaction with people on Facebook, and then when you are in a room with them, there’s hardly a word being said. Which just goes on to show the superficiality of the relationships that are sometimes forging on this so-called “social” media.

We do have more contact; a “like”, a comment or a post, but the QUALITY OF OUR INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER INDIVIDUALS IS BEING CONSIDERABLY NEGLECTED. WE PREFER QUANTITY OVER QUALITY.

 

I’m not saying Facebook is the devil and should be avoided at all cost, I like Facebook, and I find it very useful. But it´s important to analyze what are our expectation from this social media, or if it’s harming us in any way.

 

References

Brunstein, Joshua. (2014, July 23 “Americans Now Spend More Time on Facebook Than They Do on Their Pets”. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-23/heres-how-much-time-people-spend-on-facebook-daily

(2009, December 21) “Facebook Fuelling Divorce, Research Claims” Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/6857918/Facebook-fuelling-divorce-research-claims.html

“Facebook´s `Dark Side´: study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism” Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/mar/17/facebook-dark-side-study-aggressive-narcissism

 

 

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