Our Facebook personas can veer from who we authentically are and the actual reality of our personal lives. On the positive side, Facebook connects people who have once shared an experience. You can become more involved in the lives of your long-distance cousin and her young family or easily stay in touch with an old friend. On the negative side, Facebook is a space where people want to display the best of themselves and their lives, which can arouse feelings of envy, loneliness and inadequacy within outsiders. As you nonchalantly scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, photos of your friend’s birthday party pop up. As you click through fun pictures of friends dancing at festive parties full of lavish birthday decorations, your heart sinks — because you weren’t invited.
TIME Magazine’s Heartland reports that scientists from two German universities concluded that after studying 600 Facebook users, “one in three felt worse after visiting the site — especially if they viewed vacation photos.” Researchers discovered that users who didn’t post their own content were also more likely to feel discontent. It seems to be like emotional self-sabotage when people have negative experiences by logging onto Facebook, yet continue to do so.
In addition to feelings of social exclusion, you may subconsciously make comparisons to yourself with other people as you are subjected to posts and photos. Drawing comparisons can cause insecurities and make you question yourself. Feelings of loneliness and self-pity can surface just by seeing a simple Facebook status that changes from “single” to “into a relationship.” Perhaps you read a status about an old friend getting a job promotion, and suddenly you’re comparing your professional worth to someone whom you probably haven’t talked to in years. Commonly, young people also internally respond to engagements, wedding photos and pregnancy announcements with negative feelings and virtual, societal pressure to move on to that next step in life. Just as unhealthily, Facebook serves as a tool for many to be passive aggressive and indirectly spiteful. To be on the receiving end of a message meant to hurtfully get your attention can feel like a dagger in the chest.
Facebook is Subjective
According to Reuters, Institute Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University research expert, Hanna Krasnova, said based on observations on negative social networking experiences, “people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site.”
People experience anger, resentment, stress and jealousy over all types of Facebook timeline activities such as:
- Vacation photos
- Number of birthday wishes
- Number of “likes” and comments on postings
- Family happiness
- Physical attractiveness
- Work accomplishments
If Facebook feels like a toxic digital environment that personally affects you, eliminate those negative feelings by taking control of your own behavior. Deactivate your account, visit the site less often or make an effort to not internalize specific types of content that creates unhealthy emotions. Users who use Facebook as a platform for self-promotion are most likely to share content on Facebook that will “portray themselves in a better light.” In that case, photos and posts can be like judging a book by its cover. Things aren’t always as they seem.
Screenshots posted in a note on the Facebook Design Page today may have revealed a little more than just the differences between rounded and square corners.
FBHive have noticed two mysterious new features on Facebook Product Designer Alexandre Roche’s profile. The first is a News Feed filter with a lab beaker icon labelled “Outside World”. The second is a plus (+) icon and number next to the Comment and Like numbers for a video in the Highlights section.
Screenshot and our thoughts after the jump.
In our last post we discussed at some depth the current problem with Facebook Pages.
At present, Facebook Pages fall under two categories:
- Pages for legitimate businesses, celebrities, artists, organisations and products
- Pages for activities and objects people are “fans” of
The first is the reason Pages were created, and allows groups and organizations to keep in contact with their fans through publishing events, news, notes and interacting through their fans with comments.
The second is proving more popular to Facebook users as they wish to display their love of activities like “walking on the beach” and “steamy sex” as well as generic products like “chocolate”. These activities and generic products have no legitimate need to contact their fans, leading to the underbelly of spam and advertising we discussing in our previous post.
This leads us to an area of Facebook profiles that seems to be receiving little attention from Facebook these days: the Info tab. The Info tab contains an area for “Activities” and “Interests” – what a fantastic coincidence! This provides users of the site with a way to display these activities and interests without receiving the spam.
We think Facebook should take a simple two step approach to fixing the problem.
- Ban outright generic products and activities from pages
- Increase the publicity of “Interests” and “Activities” on Facebook profiles with a ‘Me Too’ function
The ‘Me Too’ function would allow users to easily add activities and interests to the Info tab of their profile.
At the end of the day, this would increase the quality and exposure of legitimate Pages for businesses and other interest groups, as well as better exposing users’ interests on their profiles.
Since the beginning, Facebook has always had a desire for “real connections”, encouraging users to create a profile using their real name, and connect with people they already know.
The introduction of Facebook Pages in November 2007 added a whole new level to this “real connections” model and has become a great way for businesses, bands and celebrities to connect and interact with their fans. Unfortunately, it has also become a cesspool for spam, ridiculous Pages and unrelated advertising.
In May it was reported the creator of the “Kisses” Page auctioned off and sold the Page (and it’s one million+ fans) for an undisclosed sum. The winning bidder, OraBrush, has now turned it into an advertisement for stopping bad breath, the emphasis on kissing now just a memory.
The minor offenders simply encourage their fans to join their other Facebook Pages, but the worse offenders have completely changed their Pages from everything to do with the original topic, with only the name remaining.
We don’t expect Facebook to police every page created, but some of these Pages have fan bases in the millions. Facebook needs to spend some time cleaning out these Pages that are now exploiting the fan bases they’ve built up with unrelated advertising.
To be clear, the purpose of Pages is for advertisers to connect with Facebook users, but these Pages build up fan bases under misleading pretenses of “fun” topics before converting their content and spamming their users.
Although just a small sample of the problem, these Pages have over 3.3 millions fans between them.
In our next article we will be explaining how we at FBHive think Facebook could drastically (and easily) overhaul the system for all, but while you wait, tell us: what you think Facebook should do with Pages like those above, and what could be done to improve the system for the future?
1) Sync Facebook Events with your calendar program
However, it’s a bit of a pain to have to continually do this for every event. Fortunately, Facebook provides an iCalendar URL for all your upcoming events that updates automatically.
Simply click the “Export Events” link on the top of the Events page, and copy the URL that follows into your favourite iCalendar supporting program.
2) View who joined Facebook because of you
It’s not only possible to view whom you’ve sent Facebook invitations to, but also who joined because of you. So if you invited your friends Steve Jones and Isaac Dabah, simply head on over to the Invite History page of Facebook.