Saturday, October 31, 2015

Facebook Makes You Miserable



I have seen first hand how Facebook grasps onto a persons emotions and rips them apart.  Many people have stated that they can only endure so long with Facebook.  Most people deactivate Facebook for a while at times when posts start to anger them.  It could be a post about politics, religion, or based on something mean that someone else said.  Maybe it's a post about a problem in the family, or one that causes extended drama.  It could just be because of the arguments that always seem to manifest themselves on Facebook.  Whatever the reason is, Facebook makes many people miserable after a while.  Many have reported that they need to take a break from Facebook from time to time.  I found that, before I created this website, I needed to take time away from Facebook to de-stress and get my life back on track.  Now, I have found that Facebook and similar (a)social media make people feel miserable.

As you read through this post, ask yourself if you can relate.  Then, ask yourself why you are on Facebook.  Maybe you will find that it is time to get rid of the (a)social media habit altogether.  I can tell you from experience, your life will be much, much better!

Why Does Facebook Make A Person Miserable?

1.  One of the biggest problems that exist with (a)social media is that you are often bombarded by others’ accomplishments.
Whether it’s someone uploading photos from his or her graduation or tweeting about an awesome new car, social media implicitly causes us to compare ourselves to others. 
It’s not surprising that studies have shown individuals who spend a significant amount of time on social media report feelings of increased anxiety and low self-esteem.  (Source)
As stated above, Facebook causes a person's self image to be measured by comparing your accomplishments with the accomplishments of other people.  What others have done with their lives does not matter at all when it comes to your own happiness and your own life.  While you are comparing your accomplishments with others, you are destroying your drive to succeed in your own life.  You also will tend to feel less happy for the things that your life has been blessed with.

It is great that your friends are accomplishing so much, however, the problem is that sharing these accomplishments oftentimes turns into bragging.  Facebook is such a competitive place that many are trying to outdo each other, and thus, you are going to hear about every small accomplishment in one's life - even if that accomplishment is going out to a nice restaurant.

2.  Facebook makes you too dependent on others for your happiness.  

Those who use Facebook oftentimes search for validation from others.  When friends and family do not hit like on one of their posts, people oftentimes start to wonder "why not?"  After a while, this can become depressing.  Are family and friends ignoring you?  Do they not care about what you have to say?  Should it matter?  Most of us are adults now, and we should not be looking to other people for our happiness.  Many of us have families of our own and we have a duty to them.

Many times we feel the want to have our lives validated.  We wonder if we are going about life the correct way.  Maybe there's a better path?  If so, do not look to Facebook for validation.  There are much better sources out there, believe me.  Few people on Facebook are going to validate your life.  Why?  Because they are too busy trying to have their lives validated.

3.  Facebook makes you compare yourself and your accomplishments with others.

This is one of the biggest and most depressing parts of Facebook.  It is a constant game of comparing yourself and your life with other people.  Do you measure up to what your siblings and classmates have accomplished?  If not, will you ever?  Should you care?  Life is not about comparing yourself with others.  That does not bring happiness.  Instead, it brings misery.

Happiness is something that should come from within, not from other people you may not even know that well.  A lot of times many of your Facebook friends may be people you actually did not really care for when you were younger or that you have a history of competing and arguing with.  Why then, are you using these people as a means to validate your life?

4.  We all post things that we regret and we oftentimes pay a large price for those things we said.

We sometimes tell too much and wish we kept those thoughts to ourselves.  On many occasions we find that we should have said nothing at all.  Sometimes we say something that we did not mean to be offensive - yet it somehow is.  We say too much and the price is depression.  I know that I have logged off Facebook after being told what I said was somehow wrong and I thought about it throughout the day.  I often regretted it, and although you can erase the post, you can't really take back the words that were said.  I know that I am not alone.  Many people spend hours and days defending what they said after posting something.  At work and at school it eats at them.  They can not focus in the classroom.  Their work performance suffers.  They battle the want to log on and check to see if everything is better.  In the end, many slink off to deactivate and later feel bitter.

5.  Life is too public with Facebook

Many people like the idea of being a private person, yet your life is not private on Facebook.  Not even close.

I found that I was far too public with my own life, while at the same time I was craving privacy.  I wanted a quiet life mostly in the company a few close friends and my immediate family.  Yet, on Facebook, I found the nagging desire to share everything about my life.  Some of them were impressive, others not so much.  It is hard to not share details about one's life when you are on a website where you are supposed to do that and where everyone else is doing it.  If you want to be a private person and you are on Facebook, maybe it's time to get real.  Some will say that they are only there to spy on others, yet, if that's the reason, you are comparing your life with other people and not focusing on your own life.

If you truly want to be a private individual, (a)social media is not for you.  There is no rule that says you have to have an online presence.  There is no rule that says that you will be cut off from the world if you do not have Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter profiles.  Instagram and Pinterest are not required to live a happy life.  The media loves to make you think that and it may be harder to use some internet sites without Facebook.  But, what are you really losing?  So what, you can't comment on some websites.  You're probably actually better off.  Do you really need to argue with others on the internet?  Also, there's a huge world out there that is not on the internet.  Many of us seem to have forgotten that.  And, yes, life is still far more interesting offline.

6.  Facebook makes it hard to change yourself for the better.

It is hard to change yourself when you are doing the same thing every day.  Old habits persist when you are logging onto Facebook daily.  You go through the same emotional roller coaster day after day.  You compare yourself to others, see how many people liked your posts, try to think of something interesting to say, share a few news stories about your favorite political party, and then salivate over the food pictures that some of your friends posted.  All the negative emotions come out each and every time.  It does not get any better.  No matter how often Facebook tries to repackage it, it is all the same.

Instead of sitting down and writing that book or starting a new project, you are behind a computer screen passively wasting time.  Time is passing when you could be trying to become a better person or accomplish your goals.  Instead of achieving your desires, your mind is wrapped up in things that make you feel lethargic.  It is little wonder why so many people log off Facebook and feel tired and depressed.  It saps away at you.  It makes it so you do not have the willpower or energy to change your own life.  Facebook is a dead end.


7.  Life becomes stagnant.  There is little change.

Related to point six above, Facebook makes your life become the same, every single day.  Time spent on Facebook is time that could be spent somewhere else.  You are interacting with other Facebook users who have stagnant lives themselves.  When I left Facebook I noticed huge changes taking place in my life.  Many of these were almost effortless. A big part of it was because I had a lot of new free time to accomplish the goals I had for myself.  I quickly found that I was not alone.  Many of the comments on this website attest to the fact that many people left Facebook and saw that their lives were changing for the better.  Many started businesses, spend more time with their children, or did something meaningful with their lives.  Without Facebook one can move forward and begin to change their life for the better.  Facebook is a pacifier.  Life is best lived when pacifiers are avoided.

8.  The amount of time spent on Facebook becomes in itself a burden.

How often do you check Facebook? The number varies widely from user to user.  It was reported that the global average was 20 minutes, but in the United States, the number was actually much higher.
Although 20+ minutes is the global average, people in the US spend much more time than that, according to Facebook's internal numbers. In Facebook's Q2 earnings last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the average US consumer spends 40 minutes on Facebook per day. (How Much Time Do People Spend on Facebook?).
Do you spend forty minutes or more?  Remember, some people bring down the average by going there only for a couple minutes.  Also, people log on for small periods of time many times throughout the day.  You may spend five minutes at one point, six at another, three during lunch to see if you got any likes, four minutes after school and ten minutes before bed.  This eats up more time, and one is still thinking about Facebook after they log off the site.  Just because you close the page doesn't mean your mind is off Facebook.  The things you read and see on the site affect a person, and they cause that person to continue to think about them throughout the day.  Is that a good thing?  I'll let you think about that.


9.  Facebook is a distraction from the things that make life enjoyable.

I am glad that I spent most of my daughter's life off of Facebook.  While I felt the want to show her off to others and share her growing up with my friends and her family who live in the United States (I currently am doing work in Ukraine), I realized that the time spent away from her and on Facebook would be something I deeply regretted.  I was right.  I would regret it.  She will not be a baby forever.  Likewise, I found that time spent on Facebook wasted my day.  There is so much that I enjoy in life, and Facebook took me away from those things.  I found that I wrote less when I was a Facebook user.  I found that I did not want to go outside, or by the time I got around to it, it was getting dark and other things needed to be done.  And worse yet, I found that I was doing little with my life in comparison to not being on Facebook.

One thing that always stuck with me is how many people are glued to Facebook when traveling.  I have done a lot of traveling in my life and no matter where I go, I see people on Facebook.  I remember visiting Singapore and seeing the computers at the hostel I was staying at totally full of people posting on Facebook and people waiting to use them.  In Mexico, people would be posting on Facebook and uploading pictures instead of enjoying the gorgeous beaches right in front of them! What a waste of time!  What a waste of a vacation!  Unless you are independently rich in both money and time, why squander a vacation to a splendid area of the world by spending your time on Facebook?

10.  Reality is distorted greatly.

Here's an important fact about the things you see on Facebook: Much of what you read is not true.  In fact, I have come to thank Facebook for making me realize that most of what you see and read on the internet is not to be trusted.  Take the picture to the left, for example.  It was one of many false images that was going around Facebook when I went back.

It is now known by many that such quotes by Einstein that are seen on the internet are fake (link).  Yet, many believe these quotes to be real.  And they persist constantly.  Why spend your valuable time reading things that are false?  Why tie your time up in trying to decipher if something is true or not?

What is true and what is distorted is not only related to memes, however.  There are many news sources that can not be trusted.  Many political websites twist reality and distort facts so people will click on the links and help them generate ad revenue.

Furthermore, there's the fact that people exaggerate their own accomplishments on the internet, sometimes to the extreme.  Perhaps the majority of Facebook users/addicts post only the positive attributes of their lives while not sharing the negative or mundane.  When you log onto Facebook, it seems that everyone is living an amazing life full of new accomplishments and happy times.  Yet, is that really reality?  I found that a few members in my own family who were posting about how great their lives were spent their time off Facebook battling drug and alcohol addictions.  Talk about distorted!

11.  People punish each other for not agreeing with their views.

Have you ever been "unfriended" for disagreeing with another person?  I have!  More than once.  In fact, when I was on Facebook, I constantly noticed that people were "unfriending" others left and right when they did not agree with something they said.  It's kind of sad that it has gotten to the point where one can not disagree with others without fearing social chastisement on (a)social media!  How is a person supposed to grow as an individual if their beliefs are not challenged?  Many beliefs out there are false - and that is the truth.  However, punishing a person for thinking a certain way is not right, and it is all too common on Facebook and on the internet as a whole.

Rifts that start on Facebook oftentimes enter into the real world, and many a family has been torn apart by the internet and (a)social media.  I know all too well, because mine has.  And I know that I am not alone.

12.  People still try to control your life.

Are you an adult now, or do you still live at home with your parents?  If you are on Facebook, maybe you should just move back in with the parents.  You'll probably save some money with rent costs and you can use their washer and dryer instead of going to the Laundromat.  In all seriousness, if you are sharing the finer details of your life and your parents and siblings are on your friend's list, chances are they are going to harp on you about many of your life choices.  Now, I will state that I do believe that sometimes a parent has a right to tell their adult children what is right and wrong.  I admit that I will probably do it some when my daughter becomes an adult.  However, some parents take it a bit too far and try to control everything about their adult children's lives, including career plans and where they go and when they go somewhere.  For example, I heard a lot about going to Ukraine to work from family and friends.  Yet, many choices in your life are between your immediate family - you and your spouse, and also to an extent, your children.

13.  Facebook creates envy and dissatisfaction.

And finally, Facebook makes one jealous of others and dissatisfied with one's own accomplishments.  It's a dissatisfaction that lasts long after one logs off.  It is something that eats at a person and can cause long-lasting effects in their life.  Envy is not a good thing.  It is said to "rot the bones."  Living a life of dissatisfaction is a complete and utter shame.  There is no reason why many people who have the means and ability to spend vast amounts of time on the internet should not be thankful for the things that they do have in life.  Many are wasting their greatest years feeling depressed over their lives while comparing themselves to others.  Instead of counting the blessings in their lives: family, friends, a roof over their heads, money, job, personal possessions, health, etc., many are instead lamenting over what they don't have and feeling bouts of envy.



Conclusion

It might be imperative for your mental health that you leave Facebook and move on with your life.  If your goal in life is to truly grow into a better person and live a life with high satisfaction, then why are you on Facebook?  Your mind and your body are both, by far, the most important possessions you have.  They are more important than anything else that you own.  Your car, your home, your wealth, none of that comes close to your mental and physical health.  So, why are you destroying both of those things by spending time on Facebook when you could be living a full life away from it?  It is a choice, and one that you are free to make.  You are not losing out on anything by not being on Facebook.  You are gaining freedom, mental peace, and a lot of extra time by being away.   No matter how careful you are with Facebook, the truth is, Facebook makes most people miserable after a while.  That is a fact.  It will catch up with you sooner or later.

Serious about giving up Facebook?  Check out our new checklist of Facebook achievements and goals for making giving up Facebook and (a)social media easier for you to achieve.

17 comments:

  1. Such a good post. I'll have to reread it when the urge to log onto Bragbook strikes. Just as an aside, how are you liking Ukraine?

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  2. This is a good post and tbh I'm glad you laid off on the religious speech.

    I have been seriously thinking about deleting Linkedin which is facebook 2.0. I find that site utterly utterly useless and have yet to find employment through it.

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  3. I think FB has more negative than positive in it, there is no one on one relationships with any one too much, and you have to put up with every friends moods and drama everyday keep up with their posts for what? Some of those posts are so stupid! It is a big waste of time!

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  4. I'm not saying every post is stupid, some are very loving and nice, that's the good part of FB, The hard part is realizing that there is more unhealthy and negative problems that arise than there is good things because nothing is one on one or private in any relationship on FB, and that takes away from a personal relationship!

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  5. To add to some of the reasons FB can be and is bad for your mental health: When I first Joined in 2013 had to set up my profile and so on, I listed my birthday day and year not knowing FB announces it to every one when it comes! I kept my FB friends small 10 to start didn't even know most of them, (I didn't want tons of FB friends to keep up with) Anyway when my birthday came around for the first time on FB the only ones who wished me a happy B. Day was my sweet son and his wife and her mother, no one else on my very small friends list even bothered! Then when their birthday came around I said to myself( go ahead don't stoop low wish them a happy birthday anyway)So I did all the while feeling they were laughing behind my back that I had payed attention to theirs but they ignored mine! That made me fell so bad I removed my B.Day from my time line to avoid that again next birthday, well those so called friends mostly ignored me all year long and I felt when their birthday comes around what shall I do ignore them like they do to me? or unfriend them because they are more strangers than friends anyway I chose to delete the whole FB account it really isn't worth all the drama and stress! I already feel a burden lifted and feeling free again!! What good is FB really? It causes a lot of stress that I don't want or need! Glad to be free of all of it!!

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    1. Good for you, glad to hear it!

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  6. Phew. I'm about a week Facebook-Free and I am definitely feeling less stressed. A friend told me in an email about a recent trip she took and she wrote "See Facebook". I replied I was off Facebook for a while but then I felt a bit guilty and logged in to see her photos. Immediately I felt my hackles up as I worried another friend would have commented or "Liked" this friend's photos more, or before me, and I would feel less than and/or that I was competing with other "friends" for this particular friend's approval. I started worrying that I was not keeping up and that people would notice I was not "Liking" or commenting, or posting my own crap. My stress level went way up. I recognized it right away. This made me quickly log off.

    I tend to be a sensitive person when it comes to other people and where I stand socially, so Facebook is not a good place for me. When I think people are angry with me or disapproving of me, I tend to worry and obsess because I am a "people pleaser" and as a woman, I was raised that being liked by all people was very, very important. Like most people, I have some insecurities and Facebook just amplifies them. The competitive aspect of Facebook truly makes me miserable.

    Then I wonder, why aren't my other friends on Facebook feeling this pressure? Is it just me? What is "wrong" with me that I can't hack Facebook?

    I then have to remind myself that just being a human in the competitive U.S. is challenging enough but to have to compete with hundreds of "friends" on Facebook is just adding insult to injury, so to speak. It is not normal to have to view photos and comings/goings of people I have not seen in 30+ years. It is not normal to have to spend 1-2 hours per day "following" the every day activities of hundreds of people. It is pure voyeurism and a waste of precious time. How does anyone get anything done with the obligations of Facebook? Your "friends" who are showing off and bragging are needing your continual validation and approval! There are many people who never joined Facebook and they seem to be doing just fine.

    For me, Facebook is a toxic place because it preys on my insecurities. I feel much more at peace not having Facebook as another pressure. Life is filled with challenges and it feels more peaceful Facebook-free.

    I don't believe Facebook brings people together, I believe it insidiously drives people apart.

    Facebook Detox is the way to go! :-)

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    1. I agree I never thought about FB as it preys on my insecurities but this is true and I feel its trying to control me, My feelings also! Too many personal emotional thoughts and drama are flooding FB and it's not healthy!

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  7. Deactivated two weeks ago. Going through a rough time, unemployment and all the issues associated with that. It seemed that most of my Facebook friends are either at Disneyland or posting about how blessed they are. Didn't need that thrown in my face right now. It's the best feeling not seeing that anymore. I should just go back and delete my account for good, but can't quite bring myself to do that yet. Maybe if I keep reading this blog I'll find the courage to delete.

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    1. Hi, sorry your going thru a rough time right now, I have been back and forth on and off FB only because I have a son on it but his wife does not treat me right she pretends to like me in front of him but in other ways ignores me and wont come to visit with our grand daughter but she posts tons of pics of the kids on FB all the time ignores anything I put on my son is blind to all of it I've always treated her with respect never said or have done anything to her, so I guess my love for my son is the only thing that keeps me half way on FB I want to delete for good, so I feel ya on this conflict! Hope you find work and things get better soon for you!And Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

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    2. Hi again I went ahead and deleted my FB shortly after I reply'ed the first time, I decided I didn't want to see all the holiday pics of my son and his family because my husband and I feel left out since they wont come to visit or even after we asked last Christmas for a family pic we can frame (no go) I guess these days everyone expects you to get all that off FB but it's not the same as a personal family picture you can put in your home on a book case or what, I also didn't want to see all their drama all the time acting like everything is A OK with all the family stuff! So I deleted and it's going to stay that way I never liked all the drama from all the other mostly fake friends either!! Merry Christmas again and may your New Year be bright! I know without the ball and chain of FB mine will be better in so many ways!!

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  8. I'm glad I found this site. Your posts bring up everything I see wrong with Facebook and at this point I am thinking my life would be much better without it. I find myself constantly checking Facebook on my phone throughout the day and wasting hours of time just scrolling through stuff, most of which has no relevance to me. It's such a distraction and I'm often late to actual events with family and friends BC I get distracted checking fb instead of getting ready! And I do notice that I often feel anxious and depressed after getting off the site. I'm 21 right now and I don't want to spend the rest of my life trying to gain self recognition from others I sorta kinda know through fb. I'm gonna start weaning myself away from using it and start focusing on real life. I'm hoping to find more peace and relaxation from being able to actually focus on real life without the constant online distractions.

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    1. Good for you! Hang in there it will get easier as time goes by and you will feel free, so free!!! I know because I do and it feels good again like it use to before FB tried to take over my life!!!

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  9. Wow it is like we are the same person! I am very sensitive and constantly have to tell people I am extremely prone to the "Facebook envy spiral" and a lot of people just look at me funny which makes me wonder "What is wrong with me?? Am I crazy here?" I guess we just have to be comfortable knowing this is how we are, we're not alone. We should form a support group!

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  10. Since joining FB about 4 years ago I have become a much more negative person. It all started well enough, posting upbeat comments and patting yourself on the back for your prose, and sharing politically correct posts. Keeping up with the Jones and trying to paint your life in the best possible light. A few years later, and all I seem to do is argue with liberals about politics. I am very conservative and I guess sensitive. Many of people who post on all the news feed sites are horrible people. To make a long story short, I feel I should probably get off FB. Then I start to think who will defend the christian issues that are under constant attack? Why are people so hateful? Fb takes up so much time, its a negative addiction. I need to get off, but haven't been able to pull the trigger. Thanks for your site.

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  12. It has gotten to the point that even the string of supportive comments to a post are irksome. They seem false and knee-jerk. In fact, they are, except maybe to the very few people among your 'friends' that you actually know well and love.Then there are the political statements tossed out there. If you disagree should you politely express your view? Isn't discussion and considering another's take on a situation the purpose? No, it goes over like a lead balloon on FB or anywhere on the internet. Do we really need to see a photo of someone's dinner plate no matter how special the restaurant? Facebook is a weird and self-serving addiction.

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