Social media platforms, such as Facebook, are known as ‘bottomless cookie jars’, they’re designed that way. The objective is to keep you scrolling as long as possible with the intention that sooner or later, you’ll see an ad that appeals and you’ll click on it. Heck, you might even buy something. At the same time, Facebook will be harvesting and selling your browsing data, your photos, location and buying habits. This is the commercial reality of one of the wealthiest businesses on the planet. Moreover, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is said to be worth a mind-boggling $108 billion. Zuckerberg himself claims that the objective of Facebook is to ‘make people more connected’. Well sure, but that’s hardly the whole story. The reality is people are feeling more isolated than ever. So, is it time you had a Facebook break?
Young People Are Feeling Lonelier Despite Social Media
Perhaps the reason for this sad increase in loneliness is the artificial nature of Facebook? After all, the vast majority of folks posting on Facebook don’t share their stresses, money troubles or their failures. All one sees is the good stuff, the wins and the smiles. Mostly, it’s rather fake. The danger then is that young people compare themselves to these jolly ‘Übermensch’ and start to feel inadequate, depressed and lonely. And, as a result, much less likely to let themselves look vulnerable on their own profiles. In short, for some, it’s a catch 22 and a decline into disillusionment.
Try a Facebook Break and See what Happens
So, will your world crumble and will everyone you know forget about you if you sign off social media platforms for a week? Well, not really. A recent study has shown that a lot of people use Facebook as a central source of information, news and politics, as well as social connection with friends. In effect, once this source is cut off, it has to be replaced with something else. And that something else can be very gratifying. Benefits include closer personal relationships, reduced stress, more time to pursue other ‘real world’ interests, hobbies and sports. And politically, studies show you’ll become less partisan. In short, less time in the cookie jar means more quality time IRL.