Facebook Makes You Sad - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Jeff Michael

Facebook Makes You Sad

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I'm trying to spend more time on Facebook. Others I know talk about it, get their news from it and, of course, use it to keep up all their cherished friendships. Yeah, that last part was… well, not cherishing.  Fact is, I've never felt uplifted, entertained, enlightened or happier after perusing FB and, turns out, I'm not alone.

A University of Michigan study says the largest social networking site in the world can add clouds to the sunniest of days. The Institute for Social Research, said in a statement, "But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result -- it undermines it."  Yep, it's true (until Zuckerberg funds a bigger study that concludes the opposite). Here's a LINK.

It makes sense really. Facebook was never meant to be a virtual home or a matrix you plug into where, through inflated stories and endless snapshots, you create an avatar that normal human beings would be jealous of. But it has become that. And worse, it's not you who spins jealousy across the digital divide—it's  the "friends" you have who seem to always be going on out on romantic dates or traveling to places you could never afford.  (If my vacation isn't Hawaii or Tahiti, why bother?)  It's Facebook where you're still friends with your ex— where you can enjoy all those photos of him or her finally in love with the right person.

Did we really need a university study to realize that immersing ourselves in this maelstrom is going to leave us depressed?

If you think I'm ragging on Facebook, you're missing my point. Zuckerberg's 2004 invention… the zeitgeist of the past decade… is a great tool (as was Zuckerberg possibly before he became a billionaire). It's a bulletin board. Back when there were bulletin boards, how long did you stand in front of them? Couple minutes? How long do you spend on Facebook in a day? An hour? Three hours? Hell, at that rate you're probably depressed from lack of sunlight! (Come to think of it, my doctor said I need to take vitamin D.)

So take a look at the Michigan study. Skim it. It's about as predictable as Facebook itself.

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