Palihapitiya was on to something when he
revealed earlier this week that he felt “tremendous guilt” for the
role that he played in Facebook’s success as a social-media company.
wit, Facebook's director of research David Ginsberg and research
scientist Moira Burke published a blog
post this week explaining that, in some
instances, the social network can have a deleterious impact on an
individual’s overall mood and health.
of Michigan students randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10
minutes were in a worse mood at the end of the day than students
assigned to post or talk to friends on Facebook," the blog post
said. "A study from UC San Diego and Yale found that people who
clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or
who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than
average in a survey."
other words, using Facebook to mindlessly browse through your feed or
click posts can leave you in a foul mood after.
the research wasn’t exclusively negative. Facebook also worked with
Carnegie Mellon University and found that "people who sent or received
more messages, comments and timeline posts reported improvements in
social support, depression and loneliness." Likewise, Facebook said
students at Cornell who used Facebook for 5 minutes while viewing
their own profiles saw "boosts in self-affirmation," while folks who
looked at other profiles did not.
other words, using Facebook to interact with people - as opposed to
just "browsing" as the University of Michigan study analyzed - seemed
to have a positive effect on people
says it's going to take this data and work to encourage more social
interaction among users to try and cut down on those who spend
it to waste time and, ultimately, feel worse after.
Facebook’s research showed that social support can help prevent
is in a unique position to connect people in distress with resources
that can help. We work with people and organizations around the
world to develop support options for people posting about suicide on
Facebook, including reaching out to a friend, contacting help lines
and reading tips about things they can do in that moment.
the end of its post, Facebook acknowledged that it hadn’t yet had time
to discover “all the answers” – though the company recently pledged $1
million toward research to better understand the relationship between
media technologies, youth development and well-being to determine how
Facebook has affected the attention spans of its users.
Palihapitiya later walked back his assertion that Facebook is “ripping
apart the fabric of how society works” after being brutally flamed
on Twitter for his purported hypocrisy, the
notion that Facebook is making its users sick and miserable is
certainly nothing new.
we pointed out in August, even though post-Millennials are safer,
physically, than adolescents have ever been. Social
media has pushed them to the brink of a mental health crisis.