December 18, 2017

Facebook Admits Social Media Poses Mental Health Risk

Facebook, an application that needs no introduction, an app which has a billion users is often criticized for having a negative impact on people. And if you think that Facebook isn’t concerned about that then you are wrong because the social media giant has itself admitted that using the platform can have a negative influence on people’s psychology.


Responding to a hard question, “Is spending time on social media bad for us?”, in a blog post on Friday, the company said: “in general when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterwards.” On the other hand, “actively interacting with people — especially sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions — is linked to improvements in well-being.”

Facebook director of researcher David Finsberg and research scientist Moira Burke wrote: “Researchers hypothesize that reading about others online might lead to a negativsocial comparison and perhaps even more so than offline since people’s posts are often more curated and flattering.”

However, according to research results, stressed college students had experienced a boost in self-affirmation when they scrolled through their own Facebook profiles rather than looking at a stranger’s FB profile.

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In another research carried out with Robert Kraut at Carnegie Mellon University, found that “people who sent or received more messages, comments and Timeline posts reported improvements in social support, depression and loneliness.” The positive impacts were more strong when people communicate with their close friends.

To lower the negative impacts created by the Facebook, the company is introducing new features to improve the psychological conditions of the users which include improving the news feed quality for more meaningful interactions, demoting false news and click-bait headlines. Facebook introduced a new feature called “snooze” option which allows you to hide a person, Page or group for 30 days, without having to permanently unfollow or unfriend them giving the users more control over their feed.

In addition, it is working on tools such as ‘Take a break’ to give people more centralized control over when they see their ex on Facebook, what their ex can see, and who can see their past posts and also ‘Suicide prevention tools’ which use artificial intelligence to detect suicidal posts even before they are reported to help people in pain.

What are your views on Facebook’s actions to decrease the negative impacts it creates on people? Share them in the comments below!


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