Saturday, February 1, 2014

Why does Facebook make people depressed?

A poll recently confirmed that Facebook makes people feel worse about themselves.  I think it's because people are on Facebook to gloat about their kids getting all A's, or getting a new house, or a new car, or a new TV. I see this every single day on Facebook.

So you go on Facebook with the intent of showing off yourself and your kids, and you see all this. You see other people doing things you want to do and can't afford. Well, if you can afford it you one up them by getting a bigger TV.  But if you can't afford it, you feel worse about yourself.  You feel worse because no matter what you do, or how much money you spend, there are people with better stuff than you have. 

I bet about half the people on Facebook schedule these glamorous vacations to the Bahamas, Hawaii, Jamaica, and places like that, just so they can put pictures on Facebook to show off how glamorous a life they have.  Their entire but dans la vie (purpose in life) is to show how much better than they are than everyone else.  Some people call this the high school mentality that never goes away with adulthood, at least in some people.  

I'm not saying that everyone who uses Facebook is a narcissist (obsessed with his or her own self image), but Facebook is the perfect place for them.  It's very easy for people obsessed with themselves to become depressed on Facebook simply because they cannot one-up the other person.  

And, by the comments they leave, I'm sure even the people who continuously one up their friends aren't content nor happy either.  

Then you have people like me, people who aren't much for small talk, people who are looking for a means of having an intelligent discussion.  You put a comment on Facebook, a funny comment, or a fact, and people get all upset in their comments.  They become offended, for instance, if you say something like my brother said today, "Liberals are Socialists are Progressives."  

"That's not true," my cousin said.  Of course then they change the subject, and start joking about the Whig party and how it needs to make a comeback.  Then in lieu of saying anything further on the discussion that started, everyone agrees or likes the Whig Party comment, and the discussion is over.  That, my friends, is as close to an intelligent discussion you get on Facebook.  

And, I suppose, when you consistently see comments, or posts, on Facebook that are the antithesis of your views, or that encourage you to think or rethink your views (something we all should do), people get irritated with you, saying things like, "There's goes Rick bloviating again."   

No, it's not bloviating: it's trying to have an intelligent discussion in the arena of ideas.

So why does Facebook make people depressed anyway?  Perhaps it's because people make comments like this:
  • I took my 3 YO Carson and 4 YO Nick to my 10 YO soccer game and it was sooo fun.
Yet when you were with her you saw how she fought with her little kids, and how her 10 YO was refusing to get out of the car and play: she wanted to go home.  Yeah, you had a blast right.  You had a blast according to Facebook.  

So I think Facebook makes people depressed because people (not everyone, and you know I'm not referring to everyone when I say this) go to Facebook to be popular.  They go to Facebook to be like an independent voter, and to create a fake world where you can remake your image.

Yes, I will digress a second here.  Studies show 40% of independent voters are republican and 40% are democrats, yet they lie and say they are independents because they don't want to cause controversy.  They claim to be neutral, but when it comes time to vote they vote for the same party they always did.  Independents, then, are like many Facebookers, they do one thing and say another in order to be popular.

These people are cowards, afraid to show their true selves.  They have a real life, they have opinions, and they are partisan voters.  But because that life, and those opinions, might not be popular, they create this fake image on Facebook.

Facebook is like high school, only worse: it never ends. 

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