We live in a world of technological convenience, where knowledge can be found with the click of a button or even the touch of a screen.
But the more technology advances, the more we’re forced to question our dependence on it.
Social media is an amazing tool, is it actually making us more anti-social?
There’s no question that social media has a range of benefits, including expanding our social circles and support groups, helping us to keep up with news and current events, enabling governments and other leaders to be more transparent, spreading the word about activist and social justice causes, and even helping law enforcement to catch criminals.
Social media may help to connect you to other people around the world, but how superficial are those connections? Can you really have a meaningful relationship with someone you’ve never meet in person?
Facebook in particular has drawn a lot of criticisms for its superficiality and negative effects on our mental health. Studies have found that excessive use of Facebook goes hand-in-hand with depressive symptoms, low self-esteem and poor body image, high anxiety, heightened stress, and other negative symptoms. It turns out that the more friends you have, the more stressed out you’re likely to be.
Facebook may be a harmless way for you to connect with your friends, but can it also enable and encourage infidelity for others? A famous study in 2014 found that excessive use of Facebook could cause cheating and broken relationships. It’s easy to think the grass is greener on the other side when you’re looking at the highlight reels of all your friends’ happy moments and successes.
Correlation may not be causation, but neither can it be dismissed.
This infographic explores the truth behind the scaremongering and addresses the question: is Facebook ruining our lives?
Is Facebook Ruining Our Lives?
Facebook, started in 2004 by founders Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes was never intended to be the monolithic service it is known as today.
- It was originally a student directory of Harvard undergraduates & alumni.
- It now boasts over 1 billion active users.
- Facebook has been ranked multiple times as the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users.
Top 3 Criticisms
1) Young Adult Depression and Emotional Disorders
- 200 college students’ Facebook profiles evaluated
- Students who were more active on Facebook were more likely to display a reference to depression
- A negative link between the envy that arises while on Facebook and general life satisfaction
- Being “unfriended” on Facebook is viewed as relational termination, and inducers a negative response.
- Infidelity and divorce: Studies have named Facebook as a source of problems in relationships. Several news stories have also said that using facebook can lead to higher instances of divorce and infidelity.
3) Educational Decline
- More Facebook = lower grades
- College students spend less time studying, causing them to struggle academically.