Study comes down to:
Participants were text-messaged 5 times per day between 10am and midnight over 14-days.
Each text-message contained a link to an online survey, which asked participants to answer five questions using a slider scale: (1) How do you feel right now? (very positive  to very negative ; M = 37.47, SD = 25.88); (2) How worried are you right now? (not at all  to a lot ; M = 44.04, SD = 30.42); (3) How lonely do you feel right now? (not at all  to a lot ; M = 27.61, SD = 26.13); (4) How much have you used Facebook since the last time we asked? (not at all  to a lot ; M = 33.90, SD = 30.48); (5) How much have you interacted with other people “directly” since the last time we asked? (not at all to a lot ; M = 64.26, SD = 31.11)
So we have a shaky self-reported study with low (and relatively homogeneous) sample size where it is fairly clear what the researchers are after, spun into an article with link bait title about how Facebook makes you sad. This is news now.
one of the many reasons i graduated university with a C average.
Okay, yeah, this is crap. I couldn't even devil's advocate that with a straight face. You'd need a sample size of several thousand, a much more rigorous (as always, preferably double-blind assessment) method than self-report, and diversify the sample size with much higher age variation (at the least).
To top it all off, news nowadays doesn't wait for repeat studies to demonstrate reliability of an outcome. It's all, "Holy shit, this thing happened once, linkbait that puppy and put it online."
I remember hearing about a 20th-century study done where a psychology researcher made huge claims about racial intelligence differences based on the number of pebbles he could fit into their skulls. It was widely believed until someone finally tried to repeat it. (My google-fu failed me, if someone else knows this study, feel free to link it).
It's hardly going to win a press award but it is definitely newsworthy.
I stopped using Facebook a few months ago because I couldn't handle how it made me feel. I am bootstrapping a start-up ,working insane hours and depriving my family of the comforts/luxuries that I could have afforded when I had a corporate job. I am really happy that my friends are spending their summer vacation at resorts/beaches etc.; I feel horrible that my kids as stuck at home and they can't have the kind of stuff my friends' buy their kids and it is all my fault. I am not jealous -- I feel guilty and facebook updates from my dearest friends exacerbates my guilt.
So I stopped using Facebook temporarily -- I will be back on it when I can buy stuff. m
Going on Hacker News, I see how everyone's startup is doing better than my failed attempt.
Going on Hackaday, I see how everyone's working on cooler projects than mine.
The only place I feel good about myself is at work.
But on a more serious note, not only beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but sucess also is. There's certainly some artists bias there, and you should become aware of it. You know all of your projects to the bone, with all their belmishes, and even though every one else is amazed at what you do, you think you're bad at it, just because you know every detail of it.
* or bad. Or meh. Especially meh.
What I've found is that if there's a stretch where there's a lot of bad news, people will just tune you out, where comments dwindle and activity lessens even when that trend has reversed itself. In my incredibly small and unscientific sample size, it seemed that with negative news, there was a greater chance for people to "tune out", while people I knew that did the "everything is awesome" timelines would have higher then average interaction.
Thought it was interesting at least. I wonder if would be reproducible, or if it's just a weird quirk for the people that I know on there.
The only thing you have to be guilty about is allowing yourself to be tricked into thinking that it is.
I'm an aspiring mustachian. I bike to work, try to save, and don't eat out often, but I've still got a lot of work to do. Its awesome how seeing someone who is happy with less can make you want to emulate them in some way. Anyway read a few of the popular blogs. I'd suggest http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/07/what-do-you-mean-y... as a starting point.
If you have 52 friends who each go on vacation for one week out of the year, then every week Facebook will be showing you somebody's awesome vacation updates. This does not mean that you're missing out or living less life for not being on vacation that particular week.
It's natural to compare our moods and experiences with others. But the self-selected nature of Facebook posts means you'll always be losing that comparison, since you see the highlights and outlying data points in relation to your own average. Once you consciously understand this and correct your mood for it, Facebook becomes a lot less of a downer.
It asks 5 questions daily, 4 were about how well the participant felt and the last one was a direct question asking how long the user was on Facebook. It was also advertised as a "Facebook study" which is completely ridiculous.
A more condemning study would ask those first 4 questions then ask a handful of questions like "how long were you on twitter?" Or "how long did you watch TV" or "how long did you exercise today?".
And it shouldn't be advertised as a Facebook study.
But by default, Facebook's algorithm can only make you unhappy if you're a passive user. The edge algorithm means you see the posts most liked by other people...virtually guaranteeing that you'll be subjected to a stream of awesome-than-life posts. And if you're a young adult, you also find yourself in the situation in which you're pining after someone and constantly viewing their profiles and liking their posts.
Well, in that case, FB is really going to hit you hard as it will assume you want to see lots of stories of your secret crush. And viewing what that person is doing in the time that you're not present around him/her creates nothing but anxiety.
Hell, you don't even have to be young to experience that.
Facebook is one big game of "keeping up with the Jonases." Everyone's Facebook-facing life is fantastic. They buy houses, they have kids, they go on trips, they have fun adventures with their girlfriends, and so on.
What you don't see is the cockroach infestation at the new house they bought, or the sickness their kid is going through, or the fact that they had to max out their credit card for their trip, or that they got in a huge fight with their s/o right after posting pictures of hugs and kisses.
What this means is that browsing through Facebook is a great way to make yourself feel awful, because at any point in time you are not going to have one of the things you see on your news feed. At least I feel that way. The only reason I'm still on there is because my mom (who lives back home, in Turkey) freaks out when she doesn't see regular updates from me. She thinks something must have happened.
My wife's friend talks to her all the time about how her and her husband are constantly fighting and their marriage is falling apart. I hear this second hand but I'd never know that from all the lovey Facebook posts and pictures.
Another couple we are friends with is just 'perfect' and 'cute' on Facebook but the husband is just an ass to his wife sometimes (borderline verbal abuse) and has turned outings with them from fun to weird, awkward, and embarrassing. Meanwhile, the wife has become a secret stripper (husband knows and supports it) yet no one else knows.
I just assume that if someone is broadcasting that their husband or wife 'is the best ever' is covering for something.
But like HS and college, Facebook has its own variety of groups you mingle with and those you avoid with a 10 foot pole.
That said, I avoid all of Facebook with a 10 foot pole except for the occasional cross post with my blog.
It's like playing with cats and a laser pointer.
Judge it as a mix of petty revenge and mindgames if you want, but it helps me to deal with incredibly superficial people just fine. In fact, after making them question their modus operandi, they tend to become a lot more agreeable. Of course I could go the regular route of either ignoring them, putting up with them or agressively lashing out at them, but at the end, that doesn't improve the situation for anyone. They'll go their merry ways, irritating everyone.
And before that transition happens, they'll strain very hard to put you in a box, and that's kinda cute.
Anyways, you're good at quips, I tip my propeller hat.
Back when it was less commercial, and when you were expected to actually know the people on your "Friends List" in real life, it was a fun way to reconnect with old classmates, workmates, and Army buddies.
Now it's just another data mining advertising machine, and I can do quite well without it.
But when you post something interesting others feel the exact same way you did when they posted something interesting. Sort of a weird situation.
That ends up not being the case, since most people aren't very discerning with whom they accept friend requests from, and facebook encourages making as many connections as possible as well.
As a result, the only current way to be honest online is through anonymity. I'm not sure if Path App has made any headway in this regard.
It's the "keeping up with the Joneses" problem, except massively amplified.
I didn't realize how bad it was until I finally disengaged, deactivated my account. I've been off for about 2 months now and I feel like a different person. It feels vaguely like quitting smoking- you don't realize what "normal" is until you're away from it all.
The greatest thing is witnessing my thoughts enter a "longer wavelength" where I'm not so obsessed with being witty and clever all the time. I have more time and space to work on actual problems. It's great.
Hope this was useful or relevant to someone.
We're all human and need support and love, but we need to be able to give it to ourselves, and maybe a 'social' network will always be superficial to the point that it drives and feeds loneliness.
Despite the shakey study wouldn't this result be expected? The more time you spend on Facebook the less time you spend actually socialising with real people? Facebook doesn't have voice chat. Text messaging is unforfilling.
Facebook has a great number of uses but one thing it doesn't do is allow you to see your friends, or actually speak to them. Using their chat box, if anything, emphasises the distance between you and the person you are speaking to.
Facebook doesn't have the tools to help with loneliness. Then it makes it worse by showing how awesome everyone else has it. My friends timeline is like a highlight reel of their best bits.
They might not have gotten the results they were looking for, though.
When I still worked in academia, that was something I wanted to do. Amusingly enough, that research is probably easier to do as an independent researcher, especially if you don't plan on publishing in the peer-reviewed literature.
Either way, I left facebook.
Facebook makes me feel worse about my friends. i.e. their posts make them seem more lame than they are in real life.
I am currently much older than average person in the sample set.