RESEARCH SUGGESTS USING FACEBOOK MAKES PEOPLE MISERABLE – A while back I wrote an article asking the question ‘Is Social Media Making Us More Unsociable?’
The premises of the article was centered on research that suggested the human race is becoming less able to physically interact due to the amount of time we spend on social media; in order to stay in touch with family and friends. It also suggested that because we were not talking face-to-face it was also easier to be unpleasant.
In a recent study scientists have discovered that using Facebook in order to keep in touch with family and friends often leads to feelings of detachment and unhappiness. During a study of 82 users scientists found that the more a person used the social network the unhappier they became suggesting people are craving for face-to-face interaction.
Go back in time by just 100 years and the social scene was remarkably different. Most family units never traveled far from one another but since the invention of mass transportation, cars and planes, family members have moved further and further apart; in the most extreme cases parts of the family group and friends have even emigrated to far away places.
Facebook and the other social media networks have allowed people to stay in touch and with 24 million people logging on to Facebook each day in the UK alone it does suggest that people crave to keep in touch with family and friends; even if it does make them feel unhappy and isolated from them.
Is Facebook fulfilling the basic need for human social connection? The answer to that has to be yes but the costs psychologically to the individual are feelings of detachment and misery.
In the second part of the experiment the scientists took the study group to meet up with their friends and family members. The change in people once they meet face-to-face is markedly different in that the people showed outwards signs of pure delight, euphoria and smiled mostly throughout their physical interaction.
Scientists suggest that people, as a species, are psychologically designed to physically interact with one another and are asking the question as to whether too much time spent on the social media sites is responsible for the rise in clinical depression; humans are simply not adapted to a life of isolation.
Could this factor be a reason for the rise in online abuse from trolls? Is their constant use of social media simply making them so unhappy that they then feel the need to vent their frustrations on other social network users?
The study did explore a number of other avenues and found that those happiest using Facebook were those doing so through the use of webcams. It appears that chatting to someone via webcam allows an individual to interact far more effective due to being able to humanly express themselves as body language is an essential part of our interaction in determining how we feel or what we want.
I have to admit I’m not a fan of the social networks. Whilst I have a number of social network accounts these are simply used to communicate what I write and publish and find the use of social networks to keep in touch with friends and family members rather meaningless and tedious.
Do you feel the social networks are dividing us or do they indeed help us to remain in touch? Please leave your comments below.