The Connection Between Facebook and Unhappiness — Science of Us Reply

Need a good reason to ignore your friends’ fake-ation photos?  Continue reading to learn how these photos, at least in part, resonate through one popular social network.

The authors write, “Both studies provide evidence that people feel depressed after spending a great deal of time on Facebook because they feel badly when comparing themselves to others.” The researchers also tested the reverse idea — that depressed people spend more time on Facebook, are more likely to make social comparisons, and therefore see worse outcomes — but didn’t find much statistical support for this idea. So overall, it seems to be the case that Facebook generates a stream of endless opportunities to compare ourselves to our peers — via their vacation and spouse pictures, their employment updates, and so on — and these comparisons stress us out and depress us.

via The Connection Between Facebook and Unhappiness — Science of Us.

3 Must Read Articles for Your Weekend Reply

sunday-morning-paper-tmSome very compelling reads caught my attention this weekend and in my first must-read list of the year I would like to share these with you.

  1. What We Should Be Telling Children about College Admissions.  College admissions madness.  It’s the time of the year I am surrounded by eyesores telling me how many students get a job offer before graduation, how much money they earn, and more.  This article finds a rare center of gravity that should help us all understand what is really important about getting our kids into college.
  2. My Friend’s Tragic Run of Depression.  The author makes a personal and important point we all need to understand–depression is an illness, not a character flaw.  The touching way in which he leads us to this point, however, is the real journey worth sharing.  Take a few minutes to read this one.
  3. If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You even Know?  I read recently that 47% of existing and well paying jobs will be subject to competitive pressure from computers using algorithms to do the same work (and cheaper).  Here is an example of how writers are about to be subject to the pressure, and is worth a read too.

Depression and Social Media – Major Depression Center – Everyday Health Reply

InternetHow does social media consumption impact your mental health?  A topic I would like to focus on in this year year–the relationship between social media use and mental health. In particular, I am become interested in the nature of the relationship between social media use and depression.  Here is a first article that raises some very interesting questions.  The link to the full article can be found below.

That negative cycle begins when you spend long periods of time on social media, time taken away from other activities that might encourage better emotional health, like exercising, meeting up with friends, and engaging in other activities that provide pleasure. In fact, according to the 2010 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, social media users who consume the highest amounts of content report a decrease in social bonding and an increase in loneliness.

Dr. Mihalas points out several possible negative outcomes from a dependence on social media:

It furthers the vicious cycle of sitting at home by yourself and being remote.

You become a victim of your own thoughts as you become less attuned to the outside world around you.

You might get steered into chat rooms with people who prompt negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions instead of engaging with people who are living a more positive, healthier lifestyle.

Additionally, an element of depression is that it can lead you to process information with a negative bias and have dysfunctional beliefs, says Natascha M. Santos, PsyD, a psychologist and an adjunct assistant professor at NYU and SUNY Old Westbury. Participating in social media through the lens of depression can enable this type of negative thinking and validate faulty beliefs. For instance, you might process photos, Tweets, and posts in a way that glamorizes the lives of others, which may or may not be what they seem, she says. This negative bias can lead you to minimize the positives of your own relationships when held up in comparison to relationships presented to you through a set of photos and carefully crafted status updates.

via Depression and Social Media – Major Depression Center – Everyday Health.