There is a fascinating article on the TechCrunch website where the author, Josh Constine, looks at how people use Facebook. Essentially, the article examines whether Facebook is bringing people closer, isolating us or both. Facebook itself seems to recognize that many people overuse their product and are now offering an app that can block areas of the site for 30 days if the user feels they need a break. Additionally, it will be sponsoring a conference where academics and other experts look at the possible negative effects of social media on society.
The author notes that people tend to use Facebook too much when their wills are weak often late at night. This is certainly true for me, and it was interesting to learn that others have the same problem. The author compares overusing Facebook to eating too much fast food, and this is an excellent analogy. Also, he mentions that one of the biggest regret users have after abusing Facebook is the time they lost. In fact, studies show that Facebook users are on the site an average of an hour a day.
On the other hand, Facebook brings us closer by connecting us with long-ago classmates, distant family members, fellow obscure hobby enthusiasts and more. Basically, the author distinguishes between good and bad Facebook use, and the article isn’t simply a condemnation of the technology. After reading this article, I came to the conclusion that Facebook is like most technologies – it’s good or bad depending on how it’s used.
Mark Zuckerberg himself has said that it’s better when people actively use Facebook to connect with friends and family than passively consume items that are routed to them by the site algorithm. Also, many experts have talked about how people who use Facebook may come to see their lives and themselves as inadequate because they are constantly bombarded with images of success and glamour from those they follow.