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[dupe] A “gold standard” study finds deleting Facebook is great for your mental health (salon.com)
283 points by smashcash 16 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 104 comments



This is the second article discussing the same study. Previous thread was based on the NYT article [1] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19041021

Very interesting to see the difference in tone in the headline alone between NYT and Salon.

* NYT - This Is Your Brain Off Facebook. Planning on quitting the social platform? A major new study offers a glimpse of what unplugging might do for your life. (Spoiler: It’s not so bad.)

* Salon - A "gold standard" study finds deleting Facebook is great for your mental health. A unique study praised for its rigor finds numerous upsides to deactivating your Facebook account.

[1] - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/health/facebook-psycholog...


Having read the Times article, which I found very informative and balanced, this highly editorialized headline makes me uneasy, especially because this one already has twice as many upvotes. I feel like we're living in a bizzaro-world where objectivity doesn't matter and all of reality is becoming a sleazy used car lot.


I despise facebook, but salon's article is ... clickbait. The results of the study are generally positive, but fairly small, and I wouldn't describe their stats as any kind of "gold standard." I don't think the study should be praised for its rigor either. It's extremely mooshy, and I'm certain someone FB friendly could do the same study and easily get a different result. Look at the plots of the data in the appendices; they're silly:

http://web.stanford.edu/~gentzkow/research/facebook.pdf


I quite liked facebook. I don't have the urge to constantly check it, nor post much on it, but it was useful for events, casually keeping up with life events of acquaintances, and keeping a rolodex of semi-friends (e.g. people I met on holiday and would like to run into again).

I deleted it because the company seems thoroughly evil and doesn't respect my privacy. But if anyone comes up with a privacy-respecting alternative I'd be more than happy to become on of their first adopters.


The problem with the alternatives is they don't have the budget and installed user base Facebook has. Sure, you'll get techie people to jump on board at first (remember Google+?), but all the family members who don't know a Twitter from an Amazon will stick with Facebook because the constant negative Facebook press isn't enough to get them to leave and no longer see pictures of their baby grandson. I'm not sure what the solution to this is.


Facebook's solution was initial exclusivity to college students. This made it cool to high school students. Then once high school and college students were all on it, their parents eventually got on.

So maybe we could shamelessly copy that exact model for the new federated open-source Facebook replacement.


But wouldn't that mean we won't be in there? Until, and if, it gains traction?

Edit: also, are we the problem?


> If we could just copy their model to acquire customers then....

Then you would be competing with every other social media startup along with the social media sites that have pretty much limitless resources.

Say your website is a success however, you basically have two options: go public and turn into facebook eventually, because your duty is not to the site anymore, it is to the shareholder and to the dollar.

or

don't go public and never get off the ground, because you won't be able to keep your programmers or compete with the tech giants.


What would be really cool would be a hidden social network app that can pull data from existing facebook/twitter/etc social data stores with various high and low tactics of stenography and obfuscated data. It could have side benefits like completely scrambling the tracking information on someone on the aggregator size, use useful stuff like image storage and video storage.

Of course that would get routinely disrupted by the base providers, since that is direct intrusion into their precious data silos.

But it would be cool.

Because I'm not super interested in outright encryption of all my thoughts and activity. That actually broadcasts you/marks you. At this point I have a lot of trackers that have SOME information on me.

So I'd like a lot of obfuscation and noise inserted around what companies know about "me".


Your argument is a truism: that any competitors don't have the budget/user base. Well duh, FB is by far #1 in both of those categories. The only way for a competitor to beat them is to come up from nothing to build a SNS and prove this naysayer argument wrong (and for its founders to have the stones to not get bought out). Until then, every FB post on HN is going to have people pointing to the FB network/userbase and saying "IMPOSSIBLE!"


It was impossible for Facebook once upon a time too... until it wasn't. Once upon a time Mark Zuckerberg was just an idiot with an idea, and here's where we ended up.


Not having my parents on the platform was one of the things I liked about Facebook when I first started up my edu account in college. MySpace was still more popular, but Facebook was where all of my college friends could be found. For me, it all gets back to what people use social media for. I liked when it was more about how to connect with people to do something in real life, not when it was the only place that people were communicating.


I think the solution is for a photo sharing site to win over the tech crowd with well-thought-out, fine-grained privacy controls and a sustainable business model and then to make it dead easy for non-tech people to share their photos with other non-tech people.

ie. I create a single account and my friends each create a single account and I create groups out of those friends, and then I share my photos with a group, and my friends can see and perhaps comment on the photos that have been shared with them.

How much would it cost per user per month to make this sustainably ad-free?


Just my 2 cents - but I would be ok with light, non-invasive advertising, like that by which DuckDuckGo operates:

https://fourweekmba.com/duckduckgo-business-model/


This. I'd rather like the advertising model turned inside out - like the old days if you will. Instead of targeting me, target the content. If I'm looking at an article about sleep show me a few limited mattress ads. It doesn't have to track me after/before. Nothing goes into my account that says I have a sleep disorder.

I hate ads in general and so provide me an option to pay for and remove it as well.


> well-thought-out, fine-grained privacy controls

The problem with Facebook isn't that some people can see some things you don't want them to. "Privacy controls" are just a distraction from the real problem which is that Facebook can see everything.


It is possible that there are multiple problems with Facebook.


> if anyone comes up with a privacy-respecting alternative

I'm working on something at the moment. More experiment than anything else for the time being but the purpose of it is to have a minimal "social network" for keeping in touch with people, and that's about it. Very little in the way of notifications and most facebook-like features. Just a way to keep in touch and keep contact details for people you care about.

Question for anyone who would be interested in such a thing: How would you suggest monetising or funding such a project?


I think there are ways to monetize. Duck duck go manages to do it, so why not? A company like this was never supposed to be the most valuable company in the world.


> Question for anyone who would be interested in such a thing: How would you suggest monetising or funding such a project?

I've been doing something similar. If your network is decentralized, I've been thinking monetization can be in the form of easy VM reselling for the service. Find a provider w/ affiliate $, integrate it into setup. They are the owners of the AWS (or whatever) account and everything's transparent, but you make it easy to install/upgrade. Or could hide the host details and be the "server manager" for them, i.e. managed hosting.

If you are centralized, there are several other ways. You can do a simple one like "completely free to use for companies < $1m revenue/year, $100/month otherwise" (wild number guesses, would need research). Other options can get a bit more sketchy, ala freemium/addons, e.g. pay to style your page, etc.


You could try indiscriminately selling users data.


>Question for anyone who would be interested in such a thing: How would you suggest monetising or funding such a project?

Sponsored ads and content is probably the only way, other than donations, to keep the service free. You can do ads without tracking, as long as you're transparent about what is or isn't an ad.

The other option is to segment the market with "premium tier" features that only finicky people care about. For example, everyone gets a standard page layout but you can pay to unlock custom style-sheets. Or you can pay extra to display higher resolution photos. Or you only hold onto posts and content for 3 years unless people pay for archival storage (at which point you're basically just running a backup service).

Alternatively, lots of community groups use facebook as a community forum. You can have moderators or forum administrators pay a hosting fee and that maintains the rest of the site.


You can monetise it the same way as facebook. I'd be more than happy for my data to be sold and analysed, as long as they were used according to strict ethical guidelines.

Perhaps worth giving DuckDuckGo a look, at how they're making money.


I've been observing https://www.minds.com/ , which appears to be an interesting open-source competitor in the space.

It's based on blockchain, which makes me nervous, but it does allow you to purchase a version of the product which removes all promotion from the product entirely.


why would blockchain be an issue? The idea is that you get trusted metrics instead of a black box that you can never see inside.


Not the OP, but I tend to associate anything cryptocurrency/blockchain related with snake oil.


Pretty much this plus the fact that I've not (yet) reviewed enough of the available literature on ETH, which this site is based on


I keep it around solely because my parents / grandparents use it and it's a means for me to stay in their lives from far away. My social circles have totally dropped it.


for what? Instagram? That's much worse imo.


WhatsApp threads for arranging get togethers.



Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a try.


Do they support "events" yet?


You could give Hubzilla a shot. Though you have to opt-in to join the ActivityPub federation. And I'm sure the Events only works with users from other Hubzilla instances.

https://project.hubzilla.org/page/hubzilla/hubzilla-project


Only accessing Facebook via mbasic.facebook.com works for me. I only really ever check it because I have local community forums that only post information on events there. Most of my friends have departed for Instagram at this point.

Which is probably why Facebook is trying to Facebookify Instagram and WhatsApp. Once they do I'm sure people will start to flee to knock-off services instead.


Even better for your mental health is stop reading news.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-ro...

The truly toxic part of facebook and much of social media today is the amount of news and politics that have been allowed on it.


I agree, I actively tried to go on a news diet last year, it was really hard. Especially in the current climate (in the UK and US at least), avoiding news chatter is nearly impossible, and trying to cull your curiosity to read up on such stuff takes serious willpower, even if you cut out the places that inject it into your thoughts (e.g. literally any feed). I find myself compulsively checking news sites at least a few times a day. Obviously (as a Brit), there's nothing but depressing news to be read...


The best thing for me was when I went to India for a week. Because the time zones are almost flipped, I slept while all my news sources were active and vice-versa. I basically just checked my news feed once in the morning and once in the evening and life felt much smoother, even though I was doing a lot of fairly stressful work at the time.

It's basically just a morning and evening edition paper.


I lived in India for a year and I remember this experience very well! Essentially nothing would change during the day on British/American news sites, and I had no interest in domestic news.


And the comments. How to not worry in one paragraph. If you can’t control, don’t worry. If you can, do something! Also, imagine if you are blind and walk around for 5 minutes with your eyes closed. Imagine if you are permanently blind. How will it be like to live as that forever! Open your eyes. You have the power of sight! More than you will ever need to survive! Edit: Why the downvotes?


You don't have to quit Facebook to get the mental health benefits.

All you have to do is unfollow everyone! Literally everyone. Your feed will be blank and peaceful, but you will still be able to maintain a presence on messenger and maintain your profile for people to reach you. You can also still interact with private Facebook groups and things, if you want.

This is what I did, and it curbed my addiction to checking facebook.

After a while, I slowly started following specific people again (mainly just the people I interact with on a daily basis, and the few family members that I can actually stand).

The moment someone starts stressing me out by posting nonsense or clutter, they get unfollowed.

It's very zen, and my mental health has drastically improved from it.

P.S. If you Google "Facebook Unfollow All", there are multiple tools and things like browser extensions which make this as simple as one button press to accomplish. It can be pretty tedious to do manually by hand if you have a lot of friends.


This was my approach as well, and I can highly vouch for it. I found myself checking facebook at a party, or with friends. And caught myself doing it and felt really, really stupid because of it. But I have a lot of friends that schedule events purely on facebook or only contact me on messenger. So I unfollowed everyone

I sometimes check specific pages of my friends, but I am more prone to just contacting them and asking them how they are doing specifically. As a result, some people have been pushed away, others have been pulled closer, and I've found who I genuinely wanted to hear from and communicate with.

Though this plus restricting who can see my profile in the first place does sometimes make it a bit difficult for people who I've casually met to reconnect with me. Maybe I'll loosen that up a bit.


I did this also. Most successful "be on facebook but not sucked in" method I've ever done.

I started just by unfollowing literally everyone. I have since readded my immediate family and a couple close friends. I find this doesn't change things, and it's more automatic than remembering to check their pages. They don't post much.

Finally, when visiting Munich I joined a local group. Didn't unsubscribe, so I still see posts. This is sort of handy: if you have nothing followed, facebook will dresge up random stuff such as suggested friends.

With a single group you auto ignore, facebook is content and just shows that. (But beneath family, if there are any posts from them)


That's exactly what I did several months ago. My mental health improved too. I have only a handful pages I follow and no people.


Yeah, I ended up with something similar, where I only had Facebook friends if I thought I had a chance of talking to them directly sometime soon. It's been way better for me since then (although occasionally people that don't understand this policy seem to be confused / unhappy that I'm not their Facebook friend).


I took the hardline approach and just logged myself out of it and removed easy access to it. Think I'll take up your solution


Anecdotally I use Facebook to coordinate social events with friends and find that it's been a helpful tool to easily keep in touch with friends. I've reconnected with friends through it too. I try and avoid political things and post a lot of cat pictures from a local cat shelter that I volunteer at, which people seem to enjoy. I dunno, I just try and keep my feed filled with mostly positive/upbeat things so maybe that helps?


> I just try and keep my feed filled with mostly positive/upbeat things

You know Zuck has experimented with making people’s feeds negative to see the impact on their usage?

I get Facebook works for you, but consider the company is run by a truly evil and insidious man. As an organizer consider helping people leave.


One of my social groups made our own personal space for organising events and after 6 months we went back to Facebook because every other social group didn’t leave.

So you get a new platform, but if you only do one event every few months then there is no really no reason to check it, and then suddenly no one is doing events.

Like it or not, Facebook is the modern yellowpages and you need something everyone is on to replace it. I think that’s going to happen sooner or later.

It’s anecdotal of course, but very few people in my social circle use Facebook for anything but organising events, and you don’t need their app, messenger or even to log on more than once in a while to do that. If you couple that with the fact that everyone is tired of their bullshit, I think they seem ripe for disruption.


I suggest people actually look at the plots in the paper. As an example, on P55, they show the effects on subjective well being for many metrics (life satisfaction, loneliness, etc). Note that a number of these metrics have a large enough standard deviation that it spans both the positive and negative range.

Most news outlets focus only on the mean (most of which are positive). But when your standard deviation is large enough to change the sign, don't put much stock in the outcome. If there's one thing that was hammered into my head when I took statistics, it's that a confidence interval of (-1, 5) does not mean the true value is more likely close to 2 (or positive, or whatever). There's no valid reason to focus on the positive values more, when your confidence interval crosses the zero point.


Can confirm. I tried deactivating and then cutting down but that just never works. Deleting is the way to go.

Old friends you want to connect with? There’s always email and a phone number. People actually reach out to me outside of that awful service to say “Hey Foo is in town” or “We’re having a reunion for Bar”.

Just delete it, notify people first, save the images you want, and torch it. Everything incremental just allows you joining it again later which Facebook is more than happy to facilitate.


It's a lot more difficult to do, but a deep cull of your friend list might replicate a lot of the value. Those acquaintances you met ten years ago and haven't spoken to since? Unfriend or at least unfollow. Get it down to the people you actually talk to & care about.


People reconnected with such acquaintances a couple decades ago without Facebook.

I find not having FB way better for those relationships anyways, instead of creepily knowing their life story since I stopped seeing them )because of FB) we have something to reconnect and talk about if I do run into them.

And I did manage my FB friends well, I deleted it when I realized FB facilitated those conversations in ways I hated and most of my feeds was ads anyways.


I can confirm. I deleted the FB app, and deactivated my account for months and it was pretty fantastic.

The problem for me now is that I'm a Clemson alum and Clemson is doing awesome right now...so I reactivated my Facebook just to celebrate everything with all my friends from college.

I ended up finding a fairly happy medium of unfollowing every person who posts anything even remotely political (even if I agree with it) and now my feed is essentially football trash talking + friends celebrating life events.


So it was fantastic, right up until the point that it wasn't? That's the whole point. Most people feel a need for Facebook for some reason or other.


> So it was fantastic, right up until the point that it wasn't?

They seem to have found a happy medium with Facebook, which seems to be the key with social media - stay in contact, but don't let it rule your life. That, as well as pretty much everything else requires finding a balance. Things that fit that "great until it's not" description:

- Eating Chocolate Cake - Sex - Programming - Driving - Fasting - Being Awake - Sleeping - Not Working


I unplugged from Facebook a few months ago. I haven't deleted my account because I have some contacts that I have no other way of getting in touch with, but I probably login to see if any important messages have been sent every 3 weeks and sometimes longer.

Nothing of any value was lost. When I login and see all the garbage spammed at me I ask myself "Why should I care about any of this?"


Here's my FB setup that has in fact been good for my MH:

My feed contains:

- Strongly moderated meme pages based on screenshots from a TV show. No political posts allowed. Everyone's here to partake in the shared enjoyment of a show.

- Nothing from friends; 1-on-1 is better, and most status updates are networking-style humblebrags anyway.

- Nothing from news sites; this should be obvious to anyone who's seen how the algorithm operates.

- Nothing from Events: my event invites (posted on FB) arrive via email notification.

Result? I almost never check my FB except when I actively think about wasting time with some dumb memes.

A big part of why it's hard to leave FB is because it's become a part of people's everyday ritual. I recommend starting to unfollow some pages and people, and see how that impacts your FB use. Slowly, you can taper it off more and more.


Would this setup be easier to achieve with Reddit? This is pretty much what I use Reddit for (and then WhatsApp for 1-1, BBC for news, and my calendar for events).


This is essentially a Reddit-like setup. I do use FB Messenger to talk to friends but aside from that, FB for me is basically Reddit with real names. I don't really make use of the "social" aspect, as I've had the account since 2005 or so and posting on people's walls became passe around 2010 or so.


Can confirm. Deleted FB half a year ago. Nothing really happened. I still feel in the loop with all my friends and even remember their birthdays. Checking FB was just a noise that kept me distracted during the day.


I read things like this and wonder how is my Facebook feed so different. For the most part I just see my friends and family posting about their day and photos of the kids.


Anyone think the same holds true for HN? :)


In general, many people waste time on internet. The internet and all of its available information is hard to resist (at-least in my case).

I've come up with a fix though! I simply have an addon in firefox that refreshes the web-page in 20 seconds! It is just enough annoyance to give up (especially after I am over halfway though an article..)


I'm not sure if this is a good thing... You're basically conditioning yourself to not read anything that lasts more than 20 seconds...


I use a pomodoro-method timer addon that blocks a certain list of websites when it's ticking.


I recommend the procrastination setting. I have it set for 10 minutes -- I just need enough of a kick in the seat to stop wasting my time.


That’s a study everyone on this site is probably interested in


Yes!


I am prepared for this to be a minority opinion, but I liked FB when I joined and I still really like it. There may be many alternatives, but as someone who grew up with an acoustic coupler modem and an Apple //+, I do not take for granted the fact that I can video chat with friends around the world for free with Messenger. In a time of political and social conflict I am soothed by daily stories of the mundane: a kid doing better than expected on a spelling test, or scoring a goal in soccer; an unexpected meetup with an old classmate; or a selfie of someone going on a hike. I get great recipes on FB.

Many friends have quit FB and reported that they feel better, and almost everyone on this thread is reporting the same thing, so there must be something to it. Honestly though, I have a hard time understanding why looking at a FB feed would bother someone. If it is anxiety over privacy, then absolutely, leaving FB absolutely makes sense. I get the feeling that it agitates people for other reasons though, but I am not sure what those are.


> In a time of political and social conflict I am soothed by daily stories of the mundane

I think this is one of the reasons; instead of accepting hardships exist and dealing with them, some people use social media as a filter for life. As such, since they avoid hardships, they never trained on dealing with hardships. I've spoken about it in my comment history, but I think some people lack perseverance/grit in this regard. A gas station cashier may be less motivated to get out of their job for a better career because they are busy getting entertained on their phone rather while than being bored during dead times.

I still have Facebook mostly for planning things with groups, but have all notifications disabled. Now, I only check it once a week to see plans change or if I was tagged in a picture. I just don't care about the rest.


It seems like the sign on that equation is wrong though, no? If social media was really a means of avoiding hardships then wouldn't leavers report great angst from withdrawal? Instead they report being happier.

I keep seeing the word humblebrag come up in discussions on FB and I have to wonder if the real reason is that some people see social media as a form of competition. We now see both the good fortunes and misfortunes of people in a much wider global circle, which can provoke either jealousy or anxiety.

> I just don't care about the rest.

Everyone is different I guess. I could never say that I do not care about the welfare of friends and family.


> I could never say that I do not care about the welfare of friends and family.

I never stated that. I don't care about using Facebook to actively follow online personas of my friends. I see them multiple times a week, so I can find out their welfare then. For random people I'm friends with? Eh, less interested in the Tasty video they shared.

> wouldn't leavers report great angst from withdrawal

That's my point - that by not viewing life through a tailored filter, you have to deal with the less pleasant parts. As these are minor hardships and not major tragedies, happiness is coming partially from a sense of being able to "handle" things.

I am not saying this is explicitly where the happiness comes from, but if people quitting social media are reporting higher scores of happiness then either the metrics are wrong or the next question is "why". At which point, what are the factors that cause happiness, and how are those factors formed outside social media?


Unrelated, I read some of your posts about your PhD research. Sounds fascinating! Best of luck.


It would be interesting to see a study on general social media beyond facebook, such as reddit, instagram, hacker news, etc. I can waste hours on non-facebook social media. It's nice for those times I'm tired and just want to kick back and not think too hard. I'm fairly certain it lowers my attention span but I wonder if there are other negative effects.


Reddit is basically Twitter with a thin veneer of politeness. My guess would be that it's not good for mental health unless you go fishing for validation by towing the party line in every sub you visit.


Obviously one eccentric's anecdote doesn't mean anything for something in-any-way scientific, but I deleted my FB about four years ago after I realized that my primary usage of the platform was arguing with people. I spent hours at a time constructing (what I thought were) brilliant arguments for my obviously super-important viewpoints. Eventually it got bad enough to where I actually lost friends IRL because of it, and I figured it wasn't healthy to dedicate so much time to arguing, and I deleted my account.

I feel like a lot of my time suddenly became free, and I get am overall less stressed out. It could just be a placebo effect, but there's about a zero-percent likelihood that I'll reopen my account any time soon.


It's funny that a study is now required to show this. I remember before Facebook was even a thing. Back then, it was just common knowledge that an obsession with one's social life would lead to shallowness and a sense that one's life lacked meaning as well as all sorts of other problems. It took me a while to even get a Facebook account because of this. I think before Facebook people used to have stronger intuitions about the negative sides of popularity contests, the dynamics of group think, and the pressures of conformity.


I deleted my fb account 4 years ago. My only regret? Not doing it sooner.


Can confirm this is true. When other people deleted their Facebook accounts my mental health improved from no longer seeing their negativity in my feed.


”Those who deactivated also observed a decrease in political polarization and news knowledge, and an increase in subjective well-being.”

Surely not reading Salon and its ilk would also result in this. Half of the toxic political posts on FB originate on sites like Salon, HuffPo... I think they’re more at fault for the political polarization of our society than FB which is mainly just a conduit.


FB also magnifies the worst posting from these outlets. You get the ultra incendiary stuff shared by everybody, while the more chill stuff doesn't get as much engagement and is ignored. I've been shown "Look at this awful thing!" stories more than once.


The ultra incendiary stuff is really just playing to the human propensity to want a witch hunt. Mob rule. Squash what we don't understand and thus fear because our lizard brains are becoming more conditioned to govern our thought processes instead of our adult brain that can reason and think critically. Playing to our emotional brain just feeds this constant cycle of emotion.

Eventually we'll all wake up from our slumber and realize how we've been manipulated for so long, but until then it's just going to be witch hunt after witch hunt.

There's only so long we can succumb to this before we all begin to wonder what the fuck we're doing allowing the media to continually manipulate our own sense of well-being in order to keep the sentiment in favour of their stakeholders.

It's pretty sick, honestly, but eventually we will all wise up to it - it's inevitable. Let's just hope it's before we destroy our humanity.


It’s true people will share the most toxic of the content. Still, I blame the source that created it more than any other party, and it’s rich to see one of those sources claim to take the high ground and not even mention their own outsized role in the situation.


It's not accurate to call a study gold standard it fits randomized but the patients can see which arm of the study they ended up in


The morally right thing do, if you did not already, is to delete Facebook.

I pity you if fb is running your life.

Heck why do I have a smartphone?

:;)/-&@&)($&!


For those not ready to completely delete their facebook account yet, I recommend:

1. deleting the app

2. Using a custom facebook style (like this one [1]) which deactivates the news feed. That way you can still use it to check your messages occasionally and have to actively make the decision to scroll through the news feed by deactivating the extension.

3. Deleting messenger once you have told all relevant people that you will be less reachable through facebook, more through email / signal whatever alternative you use.

I have been using facebook less and less that way and realized how often I was mindlessly scrolling through the feed.

[1] https://userstyles.org/styles/128616/quiet-facebook-official


Same. I've been using "News Feed Eradicator for Facebook": https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/news-feed-eradicat...

I still keep my FB account for messages and events, since my friends and family won't all delete Facebook en masse, but this has removed a whole bunch of wasted time.


Which extension is this?


At what cost to your social life and relationships?


Mine still seem pretty good even after stopping reading the News Feed completely years back. It's not quite deleting Facebook -- I still use Messenger a lot, and also the events now and then -- but it's in the same ballpark, and I don't miss it at all.


To be fair most relationships that put an important emphasis on Facebook to be maintained are probably not very important.


Personally, Facebook has allowed me to rekindle / develop several relationships.


On the web app once a week to keep in touch with older relatives. Nothing installed on mobile, no whatsapp/instagram. Loving it.


Why isn't this common knowledge? People have been off facebook for a long time. Are people that shallow? That stupid?


Never used it. Thought it was complete vanity and laziness as is much of social media.


I’m sticking with MySpace


Got off fb 5 years ago. Now on instagram is my problem.


What is a "gold standard" study?


If Facebook is detrimental to your mental health you're probably a snowflake and should delete facebook.


Could you please stop posting unsubstantive comments to Hacker News? We ban accounts that do that, and you've already done it more than once.

In addition to https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html, you might find these links helpful for getting an idea of the spirit of this site:

https://news.ycombinator.com/newswelcome.html

https://news.ycombinator.com/hackernews.html

http://www.paulgraham.com/hackernews.html

http://www.paulgraham.com/trolls.html


No, just a "flake".

A "snowflake" (slang much newer than "flake") is someone who has an inflated sense of entitlement and uniqueness.

Though it does seem that "snowflake" has recently evolved in a way that there is some overlap with "flake" (emotionally sheltered, easily distressed by ideas running contrary to one's world view).


It must be depressing working for Facebook knowing you make a negative impact in peoples lives. If their engineers had higher morals they would find a better place to work at


If you want to use Facebook for the groups or business purposes, you can disable the news feed. I use the Firefox add-on 'Disable Facebook News Feed' or 'Kill News Feed' on Chrome. If you want to reduce their tracking on Firefox use the tab containers.




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