Hi. It’s me, Satan. Lucifer. Beelzebub? Still not ringing any bells? You know, the Evil One, the Prince of Darkness, the guy behind Facebook. Surprised about the last one? Don’t be. Zuckerberg’s just a dweeb I plucked out as a front. Seriously, look at the guy – he looks like he should be folding Old Navy cargo pants for a living. You think someone that unimpressive could create Facebook, the biggest social media platform of all time, soul eater and life destroyer of people worldwide? Don’t believe me ? I’ll let my longtime minion explain.
Thanks, Benny. I’ll take it from here. After all, as NMR’s resident sociologist, genius and black sheep, I have experience writing about how Facebook is keeping you from your dream job, encouraging a generation of social media narcissists and causing you to be forever alone. But wait, I have more! A slew of studies have come out recently that support the notion that Facebook is a platform of pure death and suffering. Let’s review, shall we?
Will Give you Low Self-Esteem
In a study presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference last month, researchers presented their findings: Facebook users with 354 friends or more who read their friends’ status updates rated their lives as much less satisfying than those who hadn’t. Apparently, all the glowing happy news and exuberant bragging that comprised some of their friends’ updates made users feel less adequate about what was going on in their own lives. We all know those people who are constantly boasting about their new promotion, exotic trip or hot girlfriend or boyfriend, and there’s a special place in hell for them. Of course, hell is Facebook, and that special place is your friends list. Enjoy 😀
Not Good for People with Low Self-Esteem
In a study published this month in the journal Psychological Science, a team of Canadian academic researchers found that moose were humongous and hockey was awesome. What else would they research, right? Actually, the researchers found that Facebook didn’t win people with low self-esteem any friend points. They had objective “readers” rate the Facebook updates of 177 undergraduate student volunteers and found that those volunteers who had low self-esteem were also the perpetrators of the most negative updates. When the readers were asked if they were interested in getting to know the negative Nancy’s, the readers collectively screamed, “F*CK NO.” Not only that, but the researchers studied the responses to the negative updates from actual Facebook friends of the low self-esteem users and found that they indicated high levels of “F*CK NO” as well. In other words, if your life sucks or even if you’re just having a bad day, don’t expect any real sympathy from your Facebook “friends.” Just bottle it all up inside. Trust me, that’s how I deal with everything and I’ve only strangled 3 cats in my lifetime.
Linked with Your Depressive Symptoms
At the same SPSP meeting mentioned up top, University of Houston researchers found that time spent on Facebook has a positive correlation with depressive symptoms. In other words, people with depressed feelings spend much more time on Facebook, and the time spent on Facebook is oftentimes spent comparing themselves with their friends, especially if they’re men. If you’re a girl (12-19 years old)? A University of Haifa study found that the more time girls spent on Facebook, the more likely they were to suffer from “bulimia, anorexia, physical dissatisfaction, negative physical self-image, negative approach to eating and more of an urge to be on a weight-loss diet.”* The cherry on top of this giant shit pile are results from a Utah Valley University study from January, where it was found that students who spent more time on Facebook were more likely to agree with statements that expressed that others had better lives than they did and that life was unfair.
Makes You Mental Too
At a presentation for the American Psychological Association late last year, a California State University professor of psychology presented research that contended that daily overuse of social media made children and teens more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders. In addition, teens who use Facebook tend to show more personality signs of narcissism, while young adult Facebook users are more likely to be anti-social and exhibit various other psychological disorders in addition to narcissism. Basically, everyone is screwed.
The takeaway of all of this? (1.) Spend time on Facebook, (2.) become depressed from asshole “friends” who constantly update about the shit they have that they don’t deserve, (3.) and in your depression spiral of ice cream and tears, end up spending more time on Facebook so that you’re subjected to more of the same, (4.) which causes you to post negative updates and make your actual friends love you less all while you’re also turning into a mental patient. It’s a self-feeding loop of hell! When my fellow NMR lackey Matt Manarino releases his inevitable and predictable “social media is so wondrous and amazing” article next week, try to hide your cynicism. He’s rather sensitive.
Feel free to tweet me @alanmichaelvan with your best braggadocio. I’m going to test whether it depresses me further and makes me stay on Twitter longer. Jebus knows I find Twitter depressing as it is….
* If you happen to be one of these young people unhappy with the way you look, please read my letter to you here.