While these studies are interesting, I am not really sure that we can draw any relevant conclusions from them. There are a few things, first of all, my statistics professor’s voice is ringing in my head, “your sample size should be at least 100 for it to be worth paying attention to.” Or draw any type of generalized conclusion from.
Secondly, what about location? The baseline emotions of the sample group could very well be determined by location, cultural and social contexts. Not to mention behavior patterns and levels of engagement will vary across different locales, groups and ages.
Lastly, why do we care if Facebook makes us unhappy? Will this deter people from using it? No, probably not. Will it change the way that branded content gets pushed? Doubtful. While Facebook, as a form of interaction, is somewhat novel (though hardly at all), it’s effects on our emotional health and psyche will likely be no different from the effects of normal, in-person social interaction. Digitally-mediated social networks are becoming normalized methods of communication and interaction. Yes, there is a distinction between active and passive interactions, but that is no different from when you are a shy kid, standing in the corner at the party or the gregarious one doing a keg stand in the middle of it.
Alan Ricking “Commercial Genome Reading”
It should be recognized as a contemporary public forum in the same business as the confessional, a device, which, from the Church to the analytic couch, has played an integral role in forming the Western idea of the self.
I think that the idea of Facebook and what it is at the core is something that should not be ignored or underestimated, but the platform itself has changed.
I remember when I was accepted to Skidmore and enrolled, the first thing I did with my new college email address was sign up for Facebook. From shaping my profile, picking the right picture to connecting with new classmates, it was indeed a tool in the formulation of self.
For many in the millennial generation such as myself, Facebook’s pivotal moment came about at a time when we were inbetween the child and the ‘adult’ (I use that term loosely). We were still trying to figure out who we were and what type of person we wanted to be perceived as and Facebook provided a ‘beta testing ground’ of sorts. We could test, reconstruct and build a new sense of identity that would then set the stage for what followed (Twitter, Instagram, etc).
I completely agree with Ben. I think that the rise of these social giants such as Facebook has created a sort of fear or distrust in users. We are not comfortable having our social networks be so large. This is an entirely new concept when it comes to constructing the self in relation to others; if you throw in a few hundred to even thousands that is just overwhelming.
There is a backlash starting against the social giants and the large networks of people that come with them. We want to be able to return to our comfort zone, our natural and familiar social tendencies. The locally, more personally-curated and monitored networks will continue to thrive, but I don’t think that they will replace or really take away from the social giants like Facebook. Facebook will still matter as a social network; we’ll still want that larger connection, but will also want to retreat to our smaller networks. It is about finding a purpose for that larger social web of connections that perhaps we are finding difficult and still navigating.
It’s fascinating to think about how these social networks have completely altered the way that we interact with one-another. Although I think that Lee makes a great point, that Facebook has not replaced a social life, it has altered it a significant amount that we need to take note. We have changed the way that we socialize and express ourselves in social situations. Facebook has allowed us to compartmentalize parts of our lives (which we could do before), but now with greater ease.
Facebook has made social life more of a performance.
The new studies on loneliness are beginning to yield some surprising preliminary findings about its mechanisms. Almost every factor that one might assume affects loneliness does so only some of the time, and only under certain circumstances. People who are married are less lonely than single people, one journal article suggests, but only if their spouses are confidants. If one’s spouse is not a confidant, marriage may not decrease loneliness. A belief in God might help, or it might not, as a 1990 German study comparing levels of religious feeling and levels of loneliness discovered. Active believers who saw God as abstract and helpful rather than as a wrathful, immediate presence were less lonely. “The mere belief in God,” the researchers concluded, “was relatively independent of loneliness.”
But it is clear that social interaction matters. Loneliness and being alone are not the same thing, but both are on the rise. We meet fewer people. We gather less. And when we gather, our bonds are less meaningful and less easy. The decrease in confidants—that is, in quality social connections—has been dramatic over the past 25 years. In one survey, the mean size of networks of personal confidants decreased from 2.94 people in 1985 to 2.08 in 2004. Similarly, in 1985, only 10 percent of Americans said they had no one with whom to discuss important matters, and 15 percent said they had only one such good friend. By 2004, 25 percent had nobody to talk to, and 20 percent had only one confidant.
In the face of this social disintegration, we have essentially hired an army of replacement confidants, an entire class of professional carers. As Ronald Dworkin pointed out in a 2010 paper for the Hoover Institution, in the late ’40s, the United States was home to 2,500 clinical psychologists, 30,000 social workers, and fewer than 500 marriage and family therapists. As of 2010, the country had 77,000 clinical psychologists, 192,000 clinical social workers, 400,000 nonclinical social workers, 50,000 marriage and family therapists, 105,000 mental-health counselors, 220,000 substance-abuse counselors, 17,000 nurse psychotherapists, and 30,000 life coaches. The majority of patients in therapy do not warrant a psychiatric diagnosis. This raft of psychic servants is helping us through what used to be called regular problems. We have outsourced the work of everyday caring."
— “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” in The Atlantic
The backlash of hyperconnectedness, we are finding the real world more and more anxiety inducing, pushing more and more into our digital lives/selves and farther from the the real others.
You’ll have no doubt seen that a ton of brands have switched over their brand page on Facebook to the new timeline style version. Here’s just a few of the usual suspects…. Starbucks, Red Bull, Nike and Burberry but perhaps my favourite is The New York Times where you can go back through their history, on Facebook.I’ve included a PDF guide from Facebook on all the information you need to know.
Blogging is on the decline at INC 500, but Facebook and Twitter use is on the rise; does this mean that blogging won’t matter? Or is it just not the right method for the INC 500?
Corporate blogging is on the decline. Facebook and Twitter on the increase.