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Facebook: arguably the biggest social media giant, and also one of the longest running ones. Millions of users continue to log on to the platform in each day, despite the notorious scandals that have rocked the brand. It continues to steam ahead with revolutionising how people interact with each other, yet the elephant in the room remains: Facebook is ruining lives, and no one is willing to do anything about it.
Researchers have proven, time and time again, that social media distracts from face-to-face human interaction. In fact, it is commonplace for people to log in to Facebook when first waking up – before they do anything else such as interacting with a member of their family.
One particular study revealed how Facebook has created an ever-growing gapping hole in the public's mental well-being. It explored how Facebook is ruining lives since the more time users spent logged on, the unhappier they were likely to be.
The study comprised of 5,208 adults in the US, whose Facebook activities were monitored over the course of two years.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, the researchers explained:
“Self-comparison can be a strong influence on human behaviour, and because people tend to display the most positive aspects of their lives on social media, it is possible for an individual to believe their own life compares negatively to what they see presented by others.
“But some sceptics have wondered if perhaps people with lower wellbeing are more likely to use social media, rather than social media causing lower wellbeing.
“Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall wellbeing, the use of Facebook negatively associated with overall wellbeing. These results were particularly strong for mental health.
“We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health and life satisfaction.”
With over 2 billion monthly users, this essentially means that Facebook is ruining lives by spreading mental and physical health problems on a global platform at unprecedented levels.
With numbers like this, is it surprising that people have become lonelier and more depressed than ever? The advent of social media has brought with it merits such as convenience and robust communication. Yet, one must question whether the trade-off for what its true price is has been worth it.
Do you think Facebook is ruining lives or improving it? Are you guilty of using it too much?