Monday, February 03, 2014

Supressing the Depressing News Feed

Another truth for why I decided to take a break from Facebook is that I've been suffering a bit of depression while reading my feed the last month or more. There is a lot of negativity out there whether it's the same depressing news item posted repeatedly or general ignorance. I can handle news in a radio/tv/print and even news blogs because you know what to anticipate when tuning into those sources whereas with Facebook you can be happily scrolling along, cooing at baby or puppy pictures before being smacked in the face with some new awful truth about how we're destroying earth or how the Republicans hate women.

Unsurprisingly, someone did a study about this and found that Facebook makes us unhappy. Of course, it's not that Facebook is the problem. Psychologist Timothy Wilson had this to say:
"Getting rid of Facebook wouldn’t change the fact that our attention is, more and more frequently, forgetting the path to proper, fulfilling engagement."
One could argue that by using blogging as an alternative to being on Facebook this month that I'm not attacking the real issues of why I'm feeling unhappy, but I'd argue back that at least this is a more engaging use of the Internet versus passively trolling my news feed. Additionally, at the end of the day a blog post I wrote and can readily access is far more fulfilling than a Facebook wall of links with a line or two of text that is near impossible to search.

5 comments:

Matt Hanley said...

While you may not be inspiring me to quit any form of social media, you are making me rethink my use of them and whether that use is positive. I started a Tumblr account in order to be more creative with my writing again. It's also a way for me to put out some thoughts without inevitably offending someone who can't or refuses to comprehend what I'm writing. At the end of the day, the media I choose to use is for me and I'm responsible for how it affects me.

TM Thomas said...

I'm feeling much the same way, but I'm going about it by trying not to visit certain sites that always rile me up. FB should probably be one of them, but there's just enough content among the ranting that I feel obligated to stay tuned in. Then again, my ongoing sense of obligation is proabably food for a therapist as much as the unhappiness of the internet.

Julia said...

The usual "hide negative person from your feed or unfriend" option for making Facebook a "safer" place to scroll through hasn't been working too well for me lately. My newsfeed has the general feeling that winter has wrung out of everyone a general feeling of goodwill and happiness. Not that I think everyone will be miraculously recovered come March but I'm hoping I'll feel better at least!

Jason Wells said...

If a good part of my side business did not come from me posting on Facebook, I think I would take a break also. Awhile ago I did this for 48 hours and I got by ok, but felt like something was missing when I did not have the Facebook window always open. Could be Social Media addiction.

Elizabeth Gleason said...

I didn't see Matt's comment but I have been spending more time on tumblr myself. It's a little inspiration journal for me. I like the feed though on the back end it's a little magazine curated just for me. Come over to the dark side. I want to see fun music shares from you!

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