Last week, former Vice President for growth at Facebook, Chamath Palihapitiya came out against the platform, stating that it tears society apart. Now, it seems that Facebook itself thinks it’s bad for your health, but it has steps in place to help with that.
Facebook has taken a lot of flak over the years, namely from third parties, but it might be feeling fatigue considering it is now being criticised by its own staff, present and former. In a frank blog post written by the firm’s director of research, David Ginsberg, and research scientist, Moira Burke, Facebook answers some ‘Hard Questions’ by outlining the bad and the good, while setting in motion plans to improve.
Linking social media to negative impacts on well-being, the researchers came to the conclusion that spending “a lot of time passively consuming information” without interacting with others, people reported “feeling worse.”
Of course, it declares the good in this scenario, too, stating that those that did interact via messages, posts and comments reported “improvements in well-being” due to nostalgia, keeping up with current people that individuals might care about such as family and close personal friends.
Using social psychologists, social scientists and sociologists, Facebook hopes to find a solution without users resorting to quitting the platform altogether. One proposed solution is its “Take a Break” policy, which gives the user control over what, where and when they and their ex partners can see one another or respective content on the platform.
The social media giant has already launched its “Snooze” feature, in which users can hide a person, page or group for 30 days. Combining this with the reduction on fake news and clickbait, everyone’s newsfeed should be a lot tidier and less likely to cause the user to feel isolated or misinformed.
Needless to say, Facebook is very aware of the impact it has on society and is looking to improve in every which way it can. It has already “pledged $1 million toward research to better understand the relationship between media technologies, youth development and well-being.”
It has introduced multiple suicide prevention measures in which distressed people can utilise Facebook Live to connect to mental health resources directly from the site. It’s even implemented an artificial intelligence specifically to detect suicidal posts before they are reported.
Given a user base of 2.07 billion active people, it’s doing all it can to help the public and its wellbeing, however it does state that it is within the hands of each individual user to truly improve their habits to impact on their long-term well-being.
KitGuru Says: I spend an awful lot of time on the internet and I can affirm that it does cause fatigue. What are your social media habits like? Do you want to change them?