Sorry for the late up-date! It’s been one of those weeks and I had an early doctor’s visit. (Ugh.) But now to answer a question:
Yes Alicia, I do take requests 🙂
Frequent commenter and sister to my man, Ms. Alicia forwarded this article on to me. It’s called: “‘Facebook Depression’: Do You Have It?” And I gotta admit, my first thought (before I even read the rest) was, well crap, I probably do.
If you are my Facebook friend, you know that I’m on-line and on Facebook way more often than I’d probably be willing admit. But of course my friends know, because FB tells you about all the little things I do.
And like author, Robert David Jaffee says,
I recognize that we are all facing pressures now that we never faced in our hunter-gatherer past. We are not used to leading a 24/7 existence and being besieged by technology.
But, what qualifies as Facebook depression?
Well, Jaffee does a good job at avoiding the topic of the title of his article. But he alludes to a few things that I have heard many times before:
- Thanks to the prevalence of social networking sites, we have less face to face contact with people.
- Thanks to the nature of said sites, we are more apt to compare ourselves to each other using what are sometimes meaningless numbers/statistics (i.e. facebook friends, status up-dates, comments and likes)
- And again, thanks to the ever-presence (for most of us) of internet access, we feel the need (and sometimes anxiety) to be available 24/7
All of these factors are important at looking at and defining what “Facebook Depression,” might be.
But whether or not you have it seems to be exactly NOT the point that people are questioning. Instead, the more important part seems to be questioning HOW Facebook, and other social networking sites, are getting in the way of our personal health/success. And this may be because for most people and businesses the question is HOW it will be making life better, not worse.
In short, I feel like people are overwhelmed. I know I am.
We live in a time of unprecedented access to information. The question we keep asking ourselves is what are we going to do with it? And that’s a scary question.
Because those who take advantage of it can disappear into wormholes of research while those who don’t feel like they’re choosing to miss out on a world, if only they could figure it out.
There are easy ways to combat the numbered issues raised above. Use Facebook to schedule those face-to-face meet-ups instead of avoiding them, don’t compare yourself to others—as my mom always said: “No matter what you think, you never know until you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes,” (I know, lots of moms say that), and finally, if you have a problem with over-using it, give yourself a cut-off time.
I think the answer is that there is no answer. And as far as Facebook goes? I don’t think it’s making you depressed, unless that’s what you’re using it for. In the long run, it’s still just a tool for us to use and the results are more dependant on you than it.