To all the Facebook F.O.M.O’s out there, guess what – you’re missing out on life because your nose is stuck in your phone. I’m willing to bet that you are most probably reading this on your smartphone!
You can hate me all you like, but you know I’m right when I say that social media has taken over our lives. FB alone has over a billion members and 50% of them log in every day.
I know you undoubtedly looked at the title of this blog and thought “there’s no way in hell I’m doing that”, but I’m about to tell you why you should uninstall Facebook on your mobile…
1. Facebook affects your Cognitive Function:
Did you know that Internet Addiction Disorder actually exists? IAD is a real occurrence in humans across the globe and certain studies in China revealed that “web addicts have brain changes similar to those hooked on drugs and alcohol.” Basically, according to Krista Peck in The Role of Dopamine in Internet Addiction, you experience a dopamine rush (a feel good hormone) every time you get a notification or a message on FB.
Dr. Hao Lei, along with his colleagues, conducted MRI scans of seventeen men and women who have repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to cut back on their internet use. It revealed disruptions in the nerve fiber connections that link the areas in their brains which are responsible for emotion, self-control and decision making. Could FB actually be damaging your brain? Yes, it can! Internet use is altering your neuroplasticity!
The Facebook Jolts Per Minute (how often the action changes) when you’re passively scrolling down the news feed, caters to the shortest attention spans and eventually programs your brain to jump from topic to topic, seeking more stimulation with less substance every second!
2. Cyber Bullying:
People have their own – mostly unsubstantiated – opinions about everything and aren’t shy to say what they think on FB. No matter how harmless you might think harsh comments on FB are, you’d be surprised at the impact it has on some youngsters. A teenage girl in Durban tried to commit suicide because her name was added to a “sluts list” and it went viral on FB. In South Africa alone, almost 40% of students have been cyberbullied and 70% of cyberbullies have been bullied online themselves (B. Huddleston 2015:100). But the degrees of bullying can differ and some kinds are more severe than others.
Cyber bullying can become totally out of hand and we all know that words are human’s most destructive weapons. Typing insults on social media sites are much easier than face-to-face confrontation; there have been suicide cases all around the world related to cyber bullying… FB is one of the platforms responsible for these occurrences.
3. Negative Impact on Relationships:
You can find an ex-lover on FB and easily rekindle that old flame online – so does flirting on FB count as cheating? I sure believe it does! If you won’t do it face-to-face, why do it online? Then there’s always the fact that women are naturally jealous, so if you see all these sexy chicks on your boyfriend’s profile, you’re bound to pick a fight about it.
There is a reported case of a woman who filed for divorce after only being married for two months, simply because her husband forgot to change his relationship status!! Some people believe that FB makes it official, and this woman said that she couldn’t trust her husband due to his failure to change his status. This couple was sentenced to marriage counseling, but would you believe me if I told you that a third of the divorce cases in the U.S. and U.K. in 2009 had citations where FB instigated the divorce proceedings in the first place!
4. Real Life Friendships Crumble:
Everyday friendships are also affected by mundane FB issues; if you don’t reply to messages on Facebook, some people view it as you being inattentive and will penalise your friendship due to your inactivity on FB. When did it become acceptable that cyber activity determines real life relationships? I’ve even heard about families being in shambles because someone posted a picture of her cousin’s sonar on FB, congratulating the couple, but this enraged the mother who obviously wanted to be the first person to make her pregnancy known.
Misunderstandings easily occur when people don’t communicate face to face; what was meant as an innocent joke could be interpreted completely out of context and cause drama beyond belief. Being tagged in pictures are one the things I hate most, especially if I look awful in the picture!!!! Friendships have literally crumbled due to inappropriate pictures being posted that got them in trouble somehow or implicated negativity…
5. Intense Loneliness:
Young adults, especially, has a reduced sense of well-being and become less satisfied with their lives when constantly comparing themselves with other Facebook users. I know, how pathetic, right? Are you telling me that you’ve never been jealous of one of your FB friends? Insecurities surrounding your own life arise when you only see the surface happiness of other people’s lives. FB users also tend to log in when they are feeling lonely, but it simply increases their loneliness when they see other people being happy and looking good, because no one posts selfies when they’re depressed…
The more time you’re spending on FB the less time you are spending interacting with people face-to-face. And no, if you sit in a circle of friends but everyone is actively typing away on their phones, it doesn’t count as socialising. Some people can sit at home alone all day and while they are ‘talking’ to FB friends; this unknowingly creates the longing for physical social interaction which cannot be fulfilled by Facebooking. There’s a survey which established that the more time users spent on Facebook the worse they felt. It’s funny to think that having hundreds of cyber friends can cause such intense loneliness.
6. The Addictive Factor:
Remember what I said about neuroplasticity? Well that same little neurotransmitter called dopamine is the reason why you get addicted to FB so easily. Yes, you know it, I know it; Facebook is addictive. It’s proven to be almost more addictive than cigarettes! People get anxious when they can’t check what that tiny little red dot on their phones is about. And even when you tell yourself – “I’m just quickly going to wish someone happy birthday” – you find yourself hours later looking at an old school friend’s pictures because it’s just so easy; you went to post on your friend’s wall, then you read the other birthday wishes, then you saw a post from someone you knew years ago and you clicked on his name, then you scrolled down and saw a funny picture, now you’re going through the fifth one of his albums and you don’t even really know why! It’s that search for a thrill that thrills you and you just want more!!
7. Time’s A Wasted:
The fact that Facebook is so addictive brings me to this next point; it wastes A LOT of your time. Think about it… You start scrolling and scrolling down the news feed, looking for something interesting and before you know it, hours have gone by, you’ve burnt the supper or forgotten about something important, it has made you late for a meeting and for what? It consumes valuable time that you could have used to study or make memories of your own, instead of looking at a stranger’s memories. People have received written warnings at work because FB decreases their productivity and encroaches on their daily tasks.
If you add up all the time you spend on social media sites, I bet it would surprise you, furthermore, if you devote that time to something more productive, imagine what you could accomplish! You could further you education, research something that has always interested you, build something from scratch or even just avoid a written warning by actually doing your job… Instead of picking up your phone to use FB, why don’t you phone a friend or family member, or better yet, go visit them if they’re nearby? That cliché about life being short is a cliché for a reason!
Trust me, if you can get yourself to remove Facebook form your phone, not only will your data and battery life increase, you will be better off in the long run. I’m not saying you should delete your account, I’m saying that FB shouldn’t be consuming so much of your time and mental energy! Cut down and use your time wisely – you don’t want to look back one day and see that you’ve wasted some of your best years on social media sites when you should’ve been out there in the world, living your life…
Still not convinced? Watch this video!