Facebook, which for many is the on-line equivalent of the happiest place on Earth, might actually be depressing for some and causing people to have doubts about the meaningfulness of their lives. Or so the journal for Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking would have you believe. In an article entitled Facebook: Friends' Happy Pictures Make You Sad? (click here), ABC News lays out a bitter truth in the following clear and unmistakable language:
There are plenty of reasons to feel down in today's fast-paced, hectic world, and you wouldn't think that the world's most popular social networking site would be one of them. But that's exactly what a new study by Utah Valley University has found.
According to the study, Facebook is making us sad. Why? It's all about the kinds of pictures people post on their pages. Facebook photos generally depict smiling, cheerful people having good times, conveying a sense of happiness. Of course everyone likes to smile for the camera, so that good cheer may be inflated or false. As others view the photos, they may believe this conveyed sense of intense happiness is real, making them think that their friends are much happier than they are.
This window into what the more sensitive might believe is a better world that they don't get to live in could be bumming out millions. That such an excessive expression of unrealistic happiness can be convincingly conveyed by Facebook has always been lost on me. My reaction to most of the pictures I have seen on Facebook is that they are of people who shouldn't eat so much. Then again, I have been something of a skeptic and a non-believer for quite some time.
But this is one of those paradoxes you run into every once in a while. We here at The Tattler have often returned to a bit of wisdom that the influential 1970s social critic John Lydon had shared back then on the topic of popular success in the media. "There are no happy people, just better actors," being his appraisal. And while this probably is a little bit more cynical than need be, it might actually apply in this case. Facebook could now be the place where many go to act out their conceptions of happiness, while allowing them at the same time to hide the more mundane aspects of their lives.
And then there is the "friend" thing:
They also asked about the student's Facebook usage, including how many "friends" they had on the site, and how many of those friends were people they knew.
After controlling for race, gender, religious beliefs and whether the volunteers were unattached or in a relationship, the researchers saw a pattern: The more time students spent on Facebook, the more they thought others had it better than they did.
"Those who have used Facebook longer agreed more that others were happier, and agreed less that life is fair, and those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives," wrote Chou and Edge. "Furthermore, those that included more people whom they did not personally know as their Facebook "friends" agreed more that others had better lives."
I have often thought that someone claiming to have (let's say) 1,000 "friends" on their Facebook page might be stretching the truth a little because, let's face it, who can actually remember the names of a thousand people? I know I have trouble dealing with around 50.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg doesn't think highly of the users of his service?
In what might be shocking news to those who have adopted the Facebook lifestyle, it appears that CEO and Founder of the popular on-line social media service, Mark Zuckerberg, might not hold those who use it in a very high regard. This from gawker.com (click here):
Facebook CEO Admits To Calling Users 'Dumb F***s' - Mark Zuckerberg admits in a New Yorker profile that he mocked early Facebook users for trusting him with their personal information. A youthful indiscretion, the Facebook founder says he's much much more mature now, at the ripe age of 26.
"They trust me ------ dumb f***s" says Zuckerberg in one of the instant messages, first published by former Valleywag Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider, and now confirmed by Zuckerberg himself in Jose Antonio Vargas's New Yorker piece. Zuckerberg now tells Vargas, "I think I've grown and learned a lot" since those instant messages.
Considering that Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook corporation have often been cited for their commercial misuse of private information provided to them by the users of his concoction, the quote really is quite revealing. You have to wonder if Zuckerberg's regret is based more on his need to control the effects of a Public Relations gaff than any fundamental attitude change about the people who helped to make him a billionaire.
Mark your calendars! Bart Doyle to speak!
According to The Voter, the official voice of The League Of Women Voters, there will be a "Lunch With the League" event held on February 2nd at the Women's City Club of Pasadena. The topic will be "Pasadena Unified School District Districting (Creating Sub-District Boundaries)," and the speaker with be none other than El Monte's favorite son, Bart Doyle.
Here is how they fluff the one-time Titan Development CEO:
Presenter: Mr. Bart Doyle, Task Force Member from Sierra Madre. Mr. Doyle has over thirty years experience as a consultant and attorney specializing in housing, land use, regional growth and environmental affairs. He is a former Mayor of Sierra Madre.
No mention of his current legal difficulties in El Monte stemming from the collapse of a billion dollar transportation centered redevelopment project in large part funded by public dollars. Or the involvement of the FBI and HUD in the investigation of that grim debacle. Maybe somebody should attend and ask about that?
And while you're at it, you might want to ask some of the League worthies in attendance why they intruded on our Measure V election a while back by actually endorsing the "No on V" position. Just one more thing that makes you question the non-partisan claims of this organization, and their continued role in conducting such things as our City Council election debates.
The time on Feb 2 is 11:15 a.m. Address and other particulars can be found by clicking here and scrolling down one page.