Facebook makes you waste time

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Facebook makes you waste time

When we go to a social network page, we lose the sense of real time, and excessive fascination with Facebook likes and statuses can literally ruin our lives.

It is known that our perception of time changes depending on the circumstances: probably at times it seemed to each of us that time was passing too slowly or too quickly, and everyone at least once in their life was surprised at how much time had passed, although according to their own feelings very little had passed .

Researchers from the University of Kent write in their article in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology that one of the “circumstances” that cause us to waste time insensitively is Facebook. Here one could argue that it is not Facebook that is to blame, but the Internet as a whole, but the authors of the work are talking specifically about the social network.

Participants in the experiment were shown twenty pictures: five of them were associated specifically with Facebook, five were related to the Internet in general, and finally, another ten turned out to be neutral, that is, they did not evoke any primary associations with either the Internet or Facebook. For each one it was necessary to say how long it hung before my eyes.

It turned out that people tend to underestimate the time they spent on both “Facebook” and “Internet” images, but in the case of “Facebook” images this underestimation was higher. In other words, Facebook draws us in (at least in part) because after we go to its page, it begins to seem to us that time is passing slower than it really is. It is hardly worth looking for a deliberate villainous intent here; rather, the point is in the general characteristics of the human psyche, in the notorious fear of missing something important in someone else’s life, in politics, etc. (we dare to assume that during gossiping face to face, time also runs unnoticed).

In general, there is nothing wrong with social activity, even through social networks. Moreover, social networks can be very, very useful: by communicating, liking, commenting on other people’s photos, we expand and strengthen social connections, and we need social connections not only to solve everyday problems, but also simply for health – deep loneliness is fraught with stress.

There are even studies according to which the number of friends on Facebook and life expectancy are related (however, in works of this kind there is often a disclaimer that communicating with friends “live” is still better than online). Also last year, an article was published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture that stated that couples in love have the quality of their relationship, so to speak, in proportion to how willing they are to demonstrate their relationship on Facebook. True, here too psychologists make a reservation, adding that the discovered pattern works only with truly deep feelings; in other words, you won’t be able to turn a slight crush into true love using Facebook.

However, there is a certain threshold, after which the passion for social networks no longer brings anything but harm. Holly Shakya from the University of California at San Diego and Nicholas A. Christakis from Yale write about this in their article in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The study involved 5,200 people, from whom data on well-being was collected three times over three years (from 2013 to 2015) and compared with behavior on Facebook (of course, with the consent of the study participants to access personal Facebook data).

As a result, it was possible to discover an interesting correlation: the more a person liked other people’s posts and followed links posted by his friends, the worse, mentally and physically, he felt, and in general he was less satisfied with life. The same applied to their own posts: those who wrote on Facebook more often than others had problems with psychological well-being. There was also the problem of excess weight: those with a higher body mass index gave more likes.

It’s hardly worth blaming Facebook for obesity, and the authors of the work themselves prefer to talk about a vicious circle, when some problems with well-being that arose independently of Facebook only get worse thanks to it: a person who consistently feels unwell goes headlong into social network, and thereby only makes things worse for itself.

Of course, one can generally doubt that Facebook plays any role here – perhaps the excessive passion for liking and liking is only a consequence of deteriorating health. But recently, more and more research has been appearing on the “dark side” of social networks – you can hear that they are directly related to depression, that they cause addiction similar to drugs, that they destroy love (though in the latter case we are talking not so much about social media, but about mobile gadgets, but mobile gadgets most often serve precisely so that, at the first desire, you can go to Facebook, Vkontakte, etc.).

So, most likely, you shouldn’t consider the excessive passion for Facebook likes to be simply a consequence of some “external” reasons: not only do we influence social networks, but social networks also influence us.

Based on materials from LiveScience.

Sitting on Facebook, we lose the sense of real time. (Photo: focuspocusltd / Depositphotos.) View full size ‹ ›

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Owen Cox

Meet Owen Cox, a passionate gamer with a rich history in the world of gaming. From owning nearly every console since the Atari 2600 to indulging in gaming for over two decades, Owen's love for gaming knows no bounds. With experience in gaming retail, he has had the opportunity to immerse himself in the vibrant gaming community and share his expertise with fellow enthusiasts. Additionally, Owen has worked at Deloitte USI, honing his professional skills in a dynamic environment. Currently, as an Inventory Specialist at Best Buy, he continues to contribute to the ever-evolving landscape of technology and gaming.