Facebook is like birthday cake: too much is no good

After reading the articles “Facebook Admits Too Much Facebook Probably Isn’t Healthy” on TechCrunch and “Facebook Is Making Us Miserable” on the Harvard Business Review, I thought I would discuss the effects of information overload from Facebook.

The TechCrunch article describes that before the company went IPO, Facebook used to state how many hours people used to spend on the website (10.5 billion minutes a day in January). But after realizing that time spent on Facebook may not necessarily be a good thing, Facebook now “prefers to describe itself by how many things people share on the site rather than the hours spent there.”

While Facebook does help friends and family keep in touch, too much Facebook can be harmful. It can replace interpersonal interactions, act as a medium of procrastination and induce a sense a comparison between you and your friends.

With the hyper-sharing of content in the form of pictures, statuses and events, Facebook users tend to
compare their personal lives to those of others. From a job promotion status to how many “likes” you have on your profile picture, user are constantly judging themselves and their peers. Facebook also may make some feel lonely and isolated which can be appropriately explained by the acronym “FOMO” (fear of missing out). Finally, the most dangerous use of Facebook is its use for procrastination. Trust me, sometimes I find myself checking my Facebook for 10 new stories on my newsfeed every few minutes.

The problem with the information overload from Facebook is not that we have too much content to digest but rather we have too much content that adds little value to our lives.

If you’re looking to take a break from Facebook but are not willing to completely cut it out, try the Chrome add-on Facebook Nanny. It lets you check your notifications, view your profile and send messages but prevents you from wasting hours on your newsfeed and Facebook chat.

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