Facebook is designed to make you anxious, depressed and dissatisfied, three states of mind that make you more vulnerable to advertising and other forms of behavioral manipulation. Small wonder, then, that people who quit using Facebook report higher levels of life satisfaction and lower levels of depression and anxiety [pdf]. Bloomberg’s article about the study is a few months old but one that should be revisited regularly between now and November.
People who deactivated Facebook as part of the experiment were happier afterward, reporting higher levels of life satisfaction and lower levels of depression and anxiety. The change was modest but significant — equal to about 25 to 40 percent of the beneficial effect typically reported for psychotherapy.
Why are people willing to pay so much money for something that reduces their happiness? One possibility is that social media acts like an addictive drug — in fact, the people Allcott et al. paid to deactivate Facebook ended up using it less after the experiment was over. But another possibility is that people use services like Facebook because they’re compelled by motivations other than the pursuit of happiness.
Ten months ago the director of New Jersey’s Division on Civil Rights alerted Facebook about a racist and anti-Semitic group page it was hosting, but Facebook took no action, reports Ars Technica. It took a letter from the state’s attorney general to convince Facebook to remove the group page. On Wednesday New Jersey Attorney General […]
Facebook issued a disappointed quarterly report, sending its stock price down by 8%, reports CNBC. In the report, “Facebook also warned of advertising headwinds related to privacy and regulatory changes on the horizon, leading to slowing growth in the U.S. Facebook said privacy improvements on Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Android software could hurt its ability […]
Facebook has agreed to pay $550m to users in Illinois who sued it over its storing of biometric data without consent. This allowed the social network to automatically tag photographs—and to build a vast database of facial recognition data. It also contravenes the state’s privacy laws, reports the BBC: The case has been ongoing since […]
Canned air is a big help in dusting tight spaces, particularly keyboards, shelves or servers. But the first thing you should know about canned air is that it’s not air at all. More likely, what’s blowing out of that bottle is fluorocarbons or other mildly toxic substances. Luckily, there’s an easy alternative: The X3 Hurricane […]
With the rise of the gig economy, it’s easier than ever to either make extra money or work on something you’re passionate about. If one of your passions happens to be photos—taking or editing them—you’ve got lots of options for jumping in, including starting your own business. Seriously. Even with no prior experience, you can […]
The gym is a responsibility for most of us, not a calling. We go because we need to shore up damage from a sedentary lifestyle and bad eating choices. So as we dutifully work to battle gluttony and decay, all we want is some help to make those hours of sweating a little less painful. […]