Facebook might be all the rage these days but a look at recent statistics would reveal that not all is hunky dory with the burgeoning social media website. Ever since its formation back in 2003 in a Harvard dorm room, Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild has come under scrutiny for a variety of reasons. From being dragged in a legal battle with the now famous Winklewoss Twins which was the subject of an award winning Hollywood movie to coming under fire from critics due to frequent changes in their terms and conditions and privacy policies, the Palo Alto based company has had its fair share of legal troubles. But the problems didn’t end there.
In a recent study it was discovered that the king of social media might be useful when it comes to connecting with your family and friends, playing a game of Farmville, but it is also becoming a big source of depression, especially among the younger demographic. Here’s why:
One of seven deadly sins has gone digital. According to a survey people in their 20’s are the most affected by this particular factor. Imagine opening your profile only to see your newsfeed display pictures of your best friend taking a long relaxing vacation in the Bahamas while you sweat in your seat debugging a complicated snippet of programming code. On one hand you are genuinely happy for your friend to be having a good time but on the other you secretly hate him since you, despite of working long hours for many years, still do not have the money to take an expensive vacation.
Gossip spreads faster than wild fire, especially on Facebook. Everyone can testify to having one related incident where they were bad-mouthed or gossiped about and the news of it circulated back to them thanks to their vast social network. Another big downside is that if you do not have proper privacy settings in place, comments that are put up on your wall can be visible to the entire public. Reading an insult which stays documented with people commenting on it endlessly is far worse than hearing one.
Harassment has become a serious issue on Facebook in recent years. As witnessed in the Amanda Todd case – a Canadian teenager who was tormented by a random stranger just for the sake of fun – caused depression to the levels that the teenager was forced to take her own life after countless visits to rehab clinics failed to cure her. This lead to a media frenzy and debates sparked up whether social media sites actually did more bad than good.
Common among teenagers, peer pressure has now found its way on Facebook. The pressure to document their every thought and outing to keep up with the “cool” kids has become a major source of depression among teens. This is not only hurting their grades at school but is also restricting their much needed physical and mental growth.