Facebook can be described as the quintessential social media platform of today and judging from its definition, social media should help people to become more social. But would it be possible for Facebook to make people more anti social?
Facebook’s popularity is booming, with over 1.8 billion active users all around the world being reported last month.
At its inception, social media was created for helping people to stay in touch with their family/loved ones in real time and at a click of a button, not to mention that given the advents of modern technology, all these things are basically free of charge. Calling, video-calling and the whole nine yards are at zero cost on Facebook, Skype, Whatsapp etc.
However, there’s a flip side to that happy coin. According to a new study conducted by Kaspersky Lab, real-life human behavior is suffering a heavy blow in the digital/Virtual Reality age.
Kaspersky Lab’s study revealed that heavy Facebook/social media users are interacting less in “real life” so to speak, as in face to face with their family and friends than in the past.
And that’s hardly a surprise. Basically, if you’re able to constantly communicate/stay in touch online with your “friends” without having to leave your apartment, you’ll end up secluding yourself from the world if one so inclined.
The study found that roughly 33% of the people surveyed communicate less with their partners/friends/family/children just because it’s way more easier to follow them on Facebook for example.
Obviously, what you’re posting on Facebook is a heavily edited and narrow portion of your life, and interacting with others on Facebook is not similar to real-life socializing.
And yes, abusing social media may soon lead to losing your real-life social skills, considering you’re already having them (like being capable of sustaining an interesting conversation with a total stranger for example or talking to people casually etc). Back in the day, those skills were called “street smarts”.
Now, if you’re part of the “born on Facebook” generation, it would be pretty hard to develop real-life social skills if you’re constantly pecking at your smartphone/laptop.
The study surveyed almost 17,000 participants and many of them stated clearly that Facebook and Instagram made them jealous of others, with over sixty percent saying about a friend having a “better life” judging from the respective friend’s social media activity (photos from a birthday party, new car, vacation in the Hawaii etc).
Also,the study revealed that many people are cruising social media to feel better, whilst others will go to harmful lengths just to receive “likes” from their followers, thus to feel better about themselves.
Source: Kasperksy Lab