Facebook may have given us a new set of behaviors that we are not in control of. Here are some of the things that the social networking site has been compelling us to do on a subconscious level.
What Facebook Makes Us Do Without Our KnowledgeBeing on Facebook on your computer makes you better at using the device. Teens and pre-teens were found to navigate through their computers much better than those who did not play video games or go on Facebook often.
Facebook makes significant others jealous. Couples who are on Facebook and are friends, spend a lot of time stalking their boyfriend or girlfriend’s page, obsessing over comments, likes, and people they add to their friends list. Even their choice of profile photo is scrutinized, such as changing it to a solo when it was a photo of the couple just a day or so ago.
Facebook users in relationships tend to talk about their significant others more. Happy couples were found to post pictures, updates, and other posts that mirrored their relationship.
Humboldt University of Germany did a study that found that the site’s users may get jealous when looking at photos of other people’s momentous events, such as nights out or vacations. The respondents stressed that they were not actually jealous but knew that others might be.
It is making people fatter and deeper in debt. A study found that “greater social network use is associated with a higher body mass index, increased binge eating, a lower credit score, and higher levels of credit card debt for individuals with strong ties to their social network.” (Wilcox and Stephen, 2012)
It makes you love talking about yourself even more. It may seem stressful to share details about yourself when confronted with a room full of people but on cyberspace, it is made much easier. Researchers from Harvard have found that people get the same pleasure sensation in the brain when posting information as the one we get when eating good food and other pleasant things.
It makes you treat strangers like friends, or at the very least, acquaintances. A study by Professor Christopher Sibona from the University of Colorado has found that 40% of Facebook users were surveyed to say that they would avoid people who unfriended them on the site when confronted in real life. This may due to the fact that unfriending someone is now the latest form of rejection and may cause psychological effects.
The site is making you sadder and more likely to post depressing statuses. A study conducted in 2011 found that there was a possible correlation between children who use Facebook regularly and depression. This study was disputed by another, saying that “the survey participants were on Facebook for over half of the total time online. When Jelenchick and Moreno evaluated the data including the depression-screening results, they found no significant associations between social-media use and the probability of depression.’” (Science Daily) This issue has been disputed over and over again but it bears mentioning since there are so many people who are clamoring over it.
The site makes you feel guilty for any behavior that may seem offensive to others. There was a study conducted by the University of Edinburgh that found people with more Facebook friends have more of an opportunity to offend them through the things they post.
The site stops you from being in the doldrums. A study by Madison-Wisconsin suggested that one of the drivers of the site was our collective need for self-affirmation. Most users tend to log into the site to air out a grievance or a particularly upsetting event so that others can console them.
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