Thursday, January 27, 2011

Facebook Is Even More Anti-Social Than You Think

I've said for quite some time that social-networking is not as 'social' as people would like to say it is. Yes, on occasion long-lost friends do find each other again. Not that they couldn't have otherwise, but Facebook does make that sort of thing a lot easier. And many people claim that if they didn't have something like Facebook...then they wouldn't have time to keep up with family and friends. Well, perhaps if you are that should either stop it...or perhaps you shouldn't keep up with them. If it isn't important enough to do without Facebook...then why is it important with it?

I personally think that people shrug that question off...because it makes them feel bad that perhaps they really don't care enough to keep up with friends or family otherwise. Or perhaps they like being busy with their hobbies or jobs more than they actually like their family or friends. E-spying on a person via a tailored newsfeed is also hardly a relationship, regardless.

A new study now is also saying that social-networks, like Facebook, reinforced a tendency to overestimate people's happiness, underestimate other's negative emotions, or not being able to correctly perceive a friend's emotional state. This let to individuals brooding over their own woes or poor comparisons to other's 'better' lives.

Facebook is "like being in a play. You make a character," one teenager tells MIT professor Sherry Turkle in her new book on technology, Alone Together. Turkle writes about the exhaustion felt by teenagers as they constantly tweak their Facebook profiles for maximum cool. She calls this "presentation anxiety," and suggests that the site's element of constant performance makes people feel alienated from themselves. (The book's broader theory is that technology, despite its promises of social connectivity, actually makes us lonelier by preventing true intimacy.)

Read the whole article at

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