Facebook prevents students from making real connections

It is not said enough that too much of anything is a bad thing and Facebook is definitely not the exception to this rule. Facebook is very much like high school in the sense that you expose your thoughts, adventures and ultimately yourself to be “liked” or disliked by your network of friends, family and acquaintances.

Fitting in and feeling cared about has been ingrained in us from the moment we were in the sandbox and especially in junior high and high school, but Facebook has brought that to the next level. With phones getting more and more advanced it is hard to find someone who doesn’t have Facebook on their iPhone or Android.

That being said, Libby Copeland from Slate.com asserts that Facebook facilitates people’s ability to appear happier than they actually are, in turn making others sad. According to Copeland, people often lack the ability to “appropriately gauge other’s emotional states of mind and mood” increasing our propensity to become more depressed by spending so much time on Facebook.

There are two groups that are more likely to become depressed as a result of this, parents and females.

According to Jorge Cino of AllFacebook.com, women are more active and post more personal things on their profile and will compare themselves to other women in their network.

Daniel Gulati of the Harvard Business Review observed in his own study how Facebook was impacting the lives of hundreds of young business people. It was clear how the hyper-sharing was creating jealousy, anxiety and one case of depression. He also describes three ways in which it “fundamentally alters our daily sense of well being in both our personal and work lives.”

As mentioned before, hyper-sharing of mainly positive statuses creates this constant competitive online environment. A person Gulati interviewed even went as far as admitting that whenever his friend posted good news, they always tried to “one-up them.”

The constant switching back between our every day life and Facebook creates a loss in productivity associated with changing from one task to another.

This “switch cost” leads to what Dr. Srikumar Rao says is less productive output and detrimentally impacts our self-worth.

The last of these three effects is the decrease of face-to-face interaction. Facebook has helped to facilitate communicating with others and increased efficacy. Yet, Facebook chat has done for social interaction what the remote did for TV: make people lazy.

I still have my Facebook profile because let’s face it, who doesn’t have one?

College is where we meet many of our lifetime friends, so why spend these years chatting behind a computer screen? We need to make the most of life’s opportunities and the people who inhabit ours. So get out there and make a new friend…on campus.

Nayeli Carillo is a senior journalism major and contributing writer for the Daily 49er.


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