In a less-than-scientific study of everyone I know, I’ve come to the conclusion that too much time on Facebook (or Instagram or Twitter) makes people miserable.
I’ve got plenty of anecdotal evidence on my side. After all, how many people do you know who have quit Facebook (then, predictably, come running right back)?
Basically, social media makes us feel like worthless pieces of crap. Of this, I’m convinced. Of course it has its benefits, but when overdone, it’s THE WORST.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Science agrees that social media makes us unhappy. A recent study out of Italy found “a significantly negative correlation between online networking and self-reported happiness.”
It boils down to this: there’s a strong correlation between individual happiness and social trust. Social trust is the assumption that strangers will behave in “safe” ways, IE, not belittle or abuse others. But social media breaks down the belief in social trust, mainly because people act like a**holes on the internet.
This, we know. Check out any online forum, internet news site or anything that enables commenting, and you’ll find that people’s reactions to opposing views are less than courteous. In real life, however, people are usually a little more polite. That’s why interacting with other people in person is almost ALWAYS more fulfilling than it is online. We’re social creatures. We were meant to interact human-to-human, face-to-face, but there’s less and less of that these days.
As the Telegraph reported:
“Online networks also are a fertile ground for spreading harmful, offensive, or controversial contents often lying at the verge between free speech and hate speech,” they said. This hateful content can reduce the reader’s trust in others, and therefore have a detrimental effect on their own wellbeing. “
Sad, isn’t it? This whole hiding-behind-our-keyboards thing is stealing happiness away from us. We need to put down our smartphones, turn our faces to the sun and TALK TO OUR FELLOW HUMANS.
Because, to reiterate the Telegraph’s headline: “Facebook Makes You Distrusting and Miserable.”