Encountering America

Humanistic Psychology, Sixties Culture, and the Shaping of the Modern Self

Is Facebook Distorting Your View of the World?

Many of us are compulsive about checking Facebook but feel bored or irritated when we do. Read More

Human experiment

I think is more than FB. I believe is the human experiment. The idea that you can go to a place and endlessly pursue a satisfying experienceis a trait I think many of us are guilty of. Think about it. You go to a social media website, with no strings attached. Your freedom is unlimited, and that thrill is enough to go into dopamine drive. Where else can you go and troll without consequences? Where else can you go and meet different types of people? And at the comfort of your home? Is like being a kid all over again, only this time, we have different toys.

Developing passive behaviors can be bad, especially if you need your dose of FB or Youtube. That overstimulation is enough to make you go insane, and enough to develop irregular conformities. Remember, this is a virtual world. Is like creating your own video game. I think we all just strive to go well beyond our imagination. That's not to say it can be bad, it can be good. Information is shared at substantial rates than ever before. You can learn a lil something, or you can build your own independent site(which are on the rise). So is clear that human connection and attachment is a priority and justified. And I just believe we are wired to have connections. We need it. Is a survival instinct and a cultural adventure.

But that's not to say you need attention. We are physical creatures inhabiting a naturalistic world. We must compete in order to survive. But we must also be responsible of our own actions as well. Like all things, moderation never hurts...neither does getting some fresh air.

A few years ago, my wife gave up her Facebook membership.

I also dropped out of Facebook use. Then, we did away with our satellite connection for our TV. Our TV is now only used to play DVD's. And I can tell you, it has been liberating and wonderful. I'm reading a lot of books now, and enjoying my face to face interactions. My wife, Lee, has a newfound increase in her productivity as a fiction writer. And we enjoy spending more pure time together throughout the day. We are unwired except for our computers. Happy in Western Washington, Glenn

alternative paths...

Facebook has it's place as a way to keep family together (if that is healthy for everyone), and keep aspects of your past professional and personal networks intact. When people start measuring their net worth by the posts of others, it's value quickly degrades. At the end of the day, it's a tool, and should be used wisely, or face the consequences.

Facebook is becoming an issue, it does not offers only positive results

Well yes its right even if we don't browse or are done with messaging,replying and browsing etc etc we still feel the need to use it even if we don't use it, all we want it to be open in front of our eyes that's how badly addictive it is and second yes its making people complex because of the pictures others upload which is far way better than what they are in real makes people even more complex hence believing that they are like that in real and us uglier than we actually are. If we upload a good picture of us and for any reason may be because of less friends we don't get as many likes as others we again start being pessimistic and hating ourselves and then realizing it was just a camera and magic of light in real we are not even close to it. Facebook has many effects negative and positive both but negative shouldn't be neglected at all it may increase in crime and suicidal rate which includes stealing and misusing of peoples pictures, now how obvious is this that every single person wants to upload their picture, if they don't do it in the beginning they start uploading it later on because they feel the need of it due to many reasons. Hacking of accounts and then being misused is another factor (e.g that of amanda todd, a fake account of her was made to harass her)

I feel like an addict

I'm a Facebook addict. I have noticed many changes in my life since I joined Facebook. I was successful at deleting my first account as I really wanted to disconnect from social networking to prevent my privacy and also to enjoy more time profitably.

I joined again after 5 months after lot of my friends were requesting me to join again and socialise on internet. It was stupid move to listen to their arguments as my friends they should have accept my opinion and decision. I don't blame them after all. With my secound account I do care more about my privacy, not posting everything and trying to be neutral. I'm most of my time offline on chat, yet I still have Facebook opened and I'm logged in in case of something new pops up. I even check it on my phone while I'm waiting for my order in coffee bar or waiting for my friend.

I have noticed my life is becoming worst. My concentration is totally miserable and it takes me too much time to finish some easy jobs. I passively check Facebook for news and messages. I used to be very pedant person with discipline. Successful at what I have started and reached my longterm goals.

I'm trying to minimize my time on Facebook to check, write back and log off. I hope I will be able again to live satisfying life with my hobbies. Wish me luck and strength.

To anyone reading this and feeling the same, start with the man in the mirror.

Best wishes, Mário


I use FB in two ways: 1) updates from friends 2) articles that I read from the NYT, PBS, Cracked, political updates and so on. I also have an account I use for business.

Here is my take. I am guilty of too much Facebook. It hurts my productivity. Bad. Need to figure out what to do.

However, some of my friends on FB are people I talk to often in real life, and I KNOW the crap that's going on in their life even though they post snappy happy things. And I know of people who will say, "My so and so died of cancer," and you can be sure that person was miserable for months or years because of their loved one's conditions.

So I don't get down on myself by visualizing that everyone has their unhappy sides, and by reading studies on Facebook that say that EVERYONE feels left-out, so I know if I start feeling that way I remind myself it isn't true.

As far as the friends go, I work at home and really cherish the opportunity to get to either keep up with friends I see often and get to know acquaintances even better. There are people I didn't know very well when we linked on FB, and now that I know them better I enjoy bantering with them.

I have friends from a national writers group whom I have gotten to know much better than the professional forums we use. The other day I got the number of a good cameraman from someone whom I used to work with at an ad agency. I wish my mother was on it because I would be sharing much more with her. I don't post very often; only when I really have news or something comes up that I think other people would find interesting.

And the posts from news organizations expose me to articles that tell me things I wouldn't otherwise have known. For example, the NYT ran an article today about a documentary about the Hemmingway family. I looked at the trailer and it looked like a really interesting exploration of how Mariel has tried to escape the her family history of suicide.

If reading Facebook was boring or uninteresting, I would think it would be easy to quit.

I live in an environment that

I live in an environment that lacks entertainment and any stimulation of mind (neighbours) so facebook is basically a link to some conversation. sometimes it satisfied that need . mostly I encountered people who were superficial contradictory and dogmatic . I found this entertaining and interesting and sometimes disappointing .I actually assume d at one point that I was inlove with someone on facebook
that was motivating and good for me while the illusion lasted. I have developed a new talent whereby I can determine a persons vibration by what they write. facebook could have negative effect s on weak or younger browsers. facebook has many scammers. some topics are interesting and adds to your knowledge but you can't be sure it is true so facebook can also developed your intuitions. and research leads to more.

Again, as always, everything

Again, as always, everything has its pros and cons.
At the end, it is you who must be able to control your own feeling.
If you're unhappy seeing your facebook friends happier than you, then you would still feel unhappy seeing your neighbours buying a new car or getting happily married.
If you feel overwhelmed by facebook, you would feel overwhelmed by real life, too. Unless you decide to shut the door and live without any device.
So don't blame social media. Don't blame yourself either! It's human nature to have unpleasant feelings.

Well, you are missing one

Well, you are missing one aspect about social media people don't really always show how happy, sad, good or bad they are, most of the times its exaggerated feelings for example you go on a birthday party and you feel really pleasant meeting people and having fun kind of something normal but then when someone uploads the pictures it is more of like a fantasy dream then it really was because of how people captured the moments (art of photography is at work that time) and people tend to be more happy in pictures then they really are so you cant actually say that it is same as of that real life stories; happy or sad. In real your neighbours might invite you to have dinner with them in order to express and share their happiness while on facebook they upload the pictures with their neighbours only not the friends in your list who are actually friends of friends but on facebook your friends too so its kind of formal and then the other people go through the same feelings. P.S its kind of good to be friends with friends of friends but you see, in real it doesn't always mean you are close to them and some people you are close to in real but on facebook u hardly talk and being friends with acquaintances on facebook is at higher chance which is not also good in a way as you don't know the person in real how can you be so sure if the other person is good or bad. On face-book people are what they want to show it to others not always what they actually are in real.

Another view of Facebook from a Psychology Today blogger

Hello from a fellow PT blogger. It seems that Facebook is different things to different people. I posted a piece here called "In Defense of Facebook" that focuses on the role it serves to help people who suffer from chronic pain and illness. For them, Facebook is a port in the storm. Readers here might enjoy this perspective of a different kind of Facebook. Here's the link:


My best wishes to all,

Psychology Today should stop living in an alternate universe

Psychology Today hates Facebook. The site only sees Facebook two ways:

1. It's writers encourage people to get off of Facebook for a variety of reasons. The Psychology Today writers often don't have much experience with Facebook and want everyone to using it or they expect Facebook to do something for people that the Facebook is not designed to do(I was shocked at the PT post that suggests people should alter their Facebook profile picture to better attract a mate).

2. Psychology Today writers enjoy compartmentalizing people who use Facebook into categories, like attention-seekers or narcissists. We really don't need another insulting list that describes Facebook users as selfish individuals that are obsessed with themselves. In my experience, the people I meet on Facebook are generally nice.

Regardless of how scared Psychology Today writers of Facebook, Twitter and other social media options, maybe a writer might want to write something useful and suggest ways for people to maximize their social media experience. These social media sites are here, people enjoy them and they aren't going away any time soon.

Check out my comment above yours

and see the piece I site in it called "In Defense of Facebook."

And, I write for Psychology Today!


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Jessica Grogan, Ph.D. is the author of Encountering America: Humanistic Psychology, Sixties Culture, and the Shaping of the Modern Self (January 2013, Harper Perennial).


Subscribe to Encountering America

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.