Five ways Facebook changed us, for better and worse.

Recently stumbled upon this article from CNN.com by Doug Gross two years ago sharing the top five ways the popular social media Facebook changed the way humans interact, for better and worse, listing pros and cons for each of the five examples. This was written specifically for Facebook’s ten year anniversary( It launched in 2004).

Point no. 1 – Sharing.

People have the opportunity to share whatever thoughts and content they wish with ease. These could be photos from a vacation, a time lapse video of the sun rising over a city, updates on how their week has been, and announcements for special events. This is good because it lets your friends and family know your current activities and feelings.

However, people can also share *too* much and reveal more than they would like to about themselves and the others they know. Some examples of over-sharing content is consistent updates with little news to share, such as getting the mail. That’s not exciting, that’s a daily routine. Of course, this is perfectly fine if your only sharing it to friends and family, but if you have a special page up representing yourself(public figure; artist / photographer /musician, etc.) then yes, sharing that you got your mail would be a case of over-share with nothing to offer your followers. Other examples lean more in extreme directions like accidentally revealing a secret between yourself and a good friend or unintentionally badmouthing a superior at your job.

Point no. 2 – The Past is now the Present

Through Facebook, you can find old friends and relatives, and plenty of information about them too. If they accept your friend request you have the privilege to leave any comment you wish or message them directly. This just illustrates how far technology has taken communication, so even if you haven’t seen someone in years you can reconnect with them pretty quick, making it feel that the time you’ve had apart was almost non-existent.

However, there can be a danger to this, depending on how wisely you wish to use the social media. Sometimes relationships can broken through social media like Facebook, it would sound quite silly 12 years ago, but it’s very real and believable now. According to the article, Gary Traystman, a divorce attorney from New London, Connecticut, told The Wall Street Journal that he’s seen quite a number of marriages end just through social medias like Facebook. Continuing this, Doug Gross also shares that according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers more than 80% of divorce attorneys have said that social media has played a huge role in the cases they have taken. Also pointed out by Gross, DivorceOnline.com held a survey and at least one-third of divorce filings included Facebook.

Point no. 3 – Facebook can make you happy, but it also can make you very unhappy

In 2009 The University of Texas conducted a survey of 2,6000 students and how Facebook had affected their lives. According to their research the students who used Facebook the most were very satisfied with their online experience and came across as most comfortable and relaxed.

The University of Wisconsin conducted research of its own and found that even after five minutes of gazing through their Facebook profile pages students had a boost in self-esteem.

It’s true, Facebook and other social media can boost a person’s self esteem and make them happier throughout the day. It creates connection, and makes your world feel expansive and stimulating.

However for some people this very thing can actually create unhappiness. Seeing other people succeed, travel to exotic places, make new purchases, etc. can make others feel self-doubt and jealousy. A doctor at The University of Michigan conducted this research among Facebook friends.

Facebook and other social media plays a huge part in our lives and it can affect how we feel on a regular basis, bringing joy, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust into the mix.

 

It really depends on how you use Facebook, but also on how you are feeling that day, human emotion is very complex and so is the mind.

Point no. 4 – Every day is a reunion, so why have an actual one?

Facebook is great because it can bring people together, and they can chat the day or nor night away via direct messaging. Sounds nice, right? Downside is that because of social medias like Facebook actual reunions off the computer are less common now. Face to face contact is losing its edge, sadly, and instant messaging is taking over.

When my mother visited her sisters on a trip last year in Seattle the majority of the time her sisters were on their phones texting and sharing Facebook posts. Sure, they did see eye to eye and had long discussions without bringing the internet into the picture, but for them it was hard to stay off their phones and tablets. Addiction to social media is definitely a problem, for some its small others larger.

Point no. 5 – Privacy

Facebook presents many security features to help keep your information safe and to even allow certain people to see what you write or share. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, be careful because you still can be prone to security issues. It’s a scary thought that someone you don’t even know can hack their way onto your profile and take total control over it and post content that didn’t originate from you, this even happened to CEO and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg back in August of 2013. The hacking of Zuckerberg’s profile was related to a security flaw in the Facebook system that was not immediately dealt with and taken with a grain of salt. After the hack, Facebook’s security was strengthened.

Facebook, like any other social media, can be a great tool of communication and can bring joy to our lives, but how well it benefits you is really up to yourself and how you choose to use it. Be careful, choose your words, friends, and content wisely, and take whatever potential issues seriously and your Facebook experience can be satisfactory.

Doug Gross’ article is very to the point and easy to read with a welcoming tone that keeps your attention, source: CNN.com; http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/31/tech/social-media/facebook-changes/

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