Perhaps you don’t even consider the question in the title. But I’d expect that, on occasion, you might ask yourself the question: “Do I really want to continue using Facebook?” For cat rescue, Facebook (FB) does serve a useful purpose. I think that is fairly certain. FB can save the lives of cats. But is there an underlying feeling of competition between people engaged in cat rescue or similar enterprises which can upset people? Do some people become unjustifiably nasty on FB? Add to that the trolls and FB can become an unpleasant place to be.
Then there is the attitude of FB management who refuse to remove despicable images and pages on cat and animal abuse because it does not violate their policies (lousy policies, I say). Also, it can be hard to be noticed on FB. There is a lot of competition and everything is quite transient. It is here one day and gone the next.
Rather than automatically visiting and living our lives through and on FB we need to ask ourselves if it is good for us. Does it make is happier or less happy? Happiness is, arguably, the prime goal of our existence.
The reason why I have asked these questions and why I doubt the benefits of FB is because a study indicates that giving up FB boosts happiness. It also reduces loneliness and anger. It is sounds implausible that leaving Facebook can make you less lonely but it can because it forces people to interact with others in the real world which is more satisfying and where the annoyances of FB no longer exist.
One reason why Facebook can cause these emotional problems is because it is a forum where users encounter “social comparisons” and these matter to people. People compare themselves with others on Facebook and this can lead to a feeling of inadequacy. Facebook regulars can present to the work an artificial aura of success and living a fantastic life full of great events. This can lead others to feelings of low self-esteem and failure. People can begin to feel that their lives are unfulfilled.
A test conducted by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen indicated that “life satisfaction” rose significantly within the short time frame of a week when the participants stopped reading the updated news of their “friends”. FB “friends” are a bone of contention for many. FB have devalued the word “friend”.
Facebook can present a distorted view of “reality”. Often it is not the real world. The negative impact on FB with respect to life satisfaction was equivalent to about half the impact that being in the poorest 10 per cent had on life satisfaction compared to the richest 10 per cent. In other words quite significant.
I have a feeling that for many FB is a site they have to visit for work purposes or as a way of furthering a goal. It is not a place where they necessarily want to be.
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