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Facebook isn't making us miserable. We make ourselves that way

There's an interesting blog post making the rounds. It's called, "Facebook is making us miserable." Interestingly enough, I found it on facebook. Now, it's on the Harvard Business Review blog, written by a published author who is undoubtedly very smart. This is not an attack on him.

It is a complete disagreement with his post though. Essentially, he posits that the problem is facebook.

I say, that's horsemush.

He actually has a great line. He writes,

In writing Passion & Purpose, I monitored and observed how Facebook was impacting the lives of hundreds of young businesspeople. As I went about my research, it became clear that behind all the liking, commenting, sharing, and posting, there were strong hints of jealousy, anxiety, and, in one case, depression. Said one interviewee about a Facebook friend, "Although he's my best friend, I kind-of despise his updates." Said another "Now, Facebook IS my work day." As I dug deeper, I discovered disturbing by-products of Facebook's rapid ascension — three new, distressing ways in which the social media giant is fundamentally altering our daily sense of well-being in both our personal and work lives.

He goes on to list three disturbing things that Facebook is "creating" in us. They are:

  1. First, it's creating a den of comparison.
  2. Second, it's fragmenting our time.
  3. Last, there's a decline of close relationships.

Do all of these happen on facebook? Sure, probably. Did facebook create any of them? No way. They've been around forever and a day.

The problem isn't facebook. It's us. It's how we choose to interact and react. Nothing makes us jealous of anything. We can control that. A core bedrock of change is the truth that we have to own our own choices. We have to own our own responsibility.

If reading facebook makes you jealous of your best friend, you have a problem. You should actually thank Mark Zuckerburg for creating a tool that revealed a character flaw in you. It's not facebook, it's you. Seriously, when you're done thanking him, call and schedule an appointment with a counselor. I can recommend a great Counseling Agency if you live in the Grand Rapids area.

Now, my disagreement as to the cause aside, I agree with his remedies. If a person can't handle facebook and can't figure out how to change themselves, removing the temptation might be a good choice.

Deleting facebook could be a good choice for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.

Taking away jealousy or being happier probably isn't one of them. Facebook, like adversity doesn't build (or make) character, it simply reveals it.

You can read the HBR post here.

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