To the editor of the New Yorker,
I read the article ‘How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy’ by Maria Konnikova (September 10, 2013), published in The New Yorker.
It is all about how people use the facebook that how boredom it makes them. ‘Facebook is for lots of different things—and different people use it for different subsets of those things.’ I agree about that the more people use facebook the less happy they felt. If they spend their whole day or the most of it on facebook probably they become bored.
‘One experiment concluded that Facebook could even cause problems in relationships, by increasing feelings of jealousy.’ I think that is one of the significant and depressing things in social media. When people see things only in the social media they could start to believe almost everything there. Also things that are not true. Anyway they compared themselves to these pictures and that makes them unhappy.
Because people do not interview each others face to face, they do not get the same contact and closeness. ‘–the more time people spent browsing the site, as opposed to actively creating content and engaging with it, the more envious they felt.’ I agree with that, but anyway if some people use Facebook just a bit in a day and usually check only the most important things and do not spend the whole day there, that is not a problem. The problem is that someone uses Facebook most of the day and creates their own life just there.
How Facebook makes us unhappy by Maria Konnikova (September 10.2013) shows how using Facebook has had an negative impact on many users. The article tells about a study on how using Facebook impacts our life , and mostly how it affects us negatively.
I mostly agree with the study but i believe it was conducted on a too small scale to accurate (they only tested eighty-two people), but still many other studies have been made from the same problem and they all have been right so i have no doubt that this one would not be too.
Internet has given us a way to share our experiences and thoughts to almost everyone in the world yet still seems that it does not bring anything other than envy and sadness so what should be done? I do not know but maybe thanks to studies like this people will realize and learn from it and maybe things will change.
I read your article “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted” (October 4, 2010) and while I found it to be quite fascinating, there was something I disagreed with.
I agree with you that social media itself isn’t enough to make a social change. High-risk activism requires strong connections and – while social media is an efficient tool for networking – those cannot be created over Facebook or Twitter alone. Revolution takes real people interacting in the real world, not just likes and shares on social platforms.
However, I do think that social media is a necessary when it comes to any kind of major social change. It is a perfect way to spread information and reach dozens of people in mere seconds by just one tweet. Without these kind of social networks, international activism wouldn’t even be possible. For instance, the entire Black Lives Matter (#BML) movement was started on Twitter and it has brought together thousands of people all over the world.
Overall, I think social platforms play a vital part in today’s revolutions. They aren’t just weak ties and loose structures, they are a way to develop communication and spread awareness in a way that could have never been possible back in the 1960s.
I liked that you had different views about Facebook, and after reading those i started to think about people more. My main thoughts are that people join Facebook because they want to be part of something, and now whats happening between people, even though they are not involved in your life. We were at the same page regarding that people do not join to Facebook to be lonely or sad, they just want to feel like others. Different from Ethan Krosses point of view i do not think that people use Facebook when they are not happy, but when they are boring. People like to spend time chatting or looking for new posts for example when they are in a buss etc.
Nowadays people have noticed that there isn’t so much to do in Facebook (probably because of other apps like Whats App or Instagram) so they do not use it like they used to do back in the days. Some of them even have deleted their accounts. On the other hand many people do use Facebook only for checking up celebrity or athlete posts even though they used to use it for chatting and following what their friends are doing.
Yours sincerely Robin Sharifi
In the article “How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy” (September 10, 2013) by Maria Konnikova there were listed numerous experiments showing how Facebook lowers the users’ happiness and makes them feel lonely. However, I’m questioning the experiments’ reliability. Were they done under controlled circumstances? For example in the first experiment done by Ethan Kross, they sent text messages to the participants asking how they were feeling and the amount of their Facebook use. But without the elimination of other possible causes of unhappiness, you can’t know for sure it’s just Facebook making people unhappy.
There is also one experiment that seems to generalize the results, saying that “the more people used the Web, the lonelier and more depressed they felt.” It’s true that Facebook can make people unhappy because of jealousy and such but not every website is like Facebook. There are communities and forums of all sizes where everyone supports each other so I’m sure you can find a site where you fit in without getting depressed or jealous of others.
So, Facebook is just one website among others. If it makes you unhappy, it’s probably not the website for you. As Konnikova writes at the end of her article, “Facebook isn’t the problem. It’s the symptom.” So actually, it’s not Facebook itself making people unhappy, it’s how we react to it.
Jenna Porkka, Espoo
Having read Konnikova, Maria. “How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy” in the New Yorker, September 10th, 2013, accessed in January 24th, 2017, I feel very enlightened. I had no idea what I was doing to myself while continuously scrolling down the news feed, or looking at my buddies’ profiles. I thought I felt more relaxed or happy even, but now I realize how wrong I was.
The illusion of connectivity and being social really drags you swiftly down to loneliness, and the worst is how it catches you off guard. You can’t react to the evolution of depression.
Most of the time you will need your friends to help you rise from the pit. The depression and loneliness feeds themselves as you spend more and more time scrolling down deeper and deeper. The effect is similar to any other addiction.
Instead of chatting and socializing with your friends online, you are more likely to slowly get detached from them. When you only chat with them on the media and never catch up with each others, the bond of friendship starts to weaken.
Sometimes Facebook can be a great tool to share your greatest moments, organize events or communicate with friends living far away from you. Even so Facebook starts to make you feel worse rapidly if used just a bit too much.
So exactly how much is too much? — If only someone would know the answer.
Student from Espoo, Finland