For most people Facebook is a fun social networking site that allows them to communicate with friends and family.
Recent upgrades to the mega site have made it easier for users to see what their friends are listening to, watching, and reading. These changes have the stated goal of influencing users to share more. Of course, not everyone agrees on whether or not this is necessary.
And according to CBS Philly, one writer who blogs for Harvard Business Review isn’t sold on the pure goodness of Facebook.
"Facebook is making us unhappy by making everyone else look really, really happy," Daniel Gulati claims.
Gulati believes the shared information on Facebook is creating a subconscious "ranking" among our friends. Meaning, our "curated" selves broadcasted online are being compared to real life.
"Facebook is bringing down a lot of people’s daily sense of well-being," he opined.
From Gulati's viewpoint, he sees Facebook use leading to a loss of productivity in both work and play, which is likely to have a negative impact on close relationships.
"Meeting up in person, you get a much richer connection versus a video chat or a text-based chat. It’s cannibalizing the offline interaction. That’s what’s worrying to me - the future prospect of Facebook conversations and video calls as opposed to meeting up at the local coffee shop," Gulati says.
While Gulati's opinion about Facebook may seem somewhat extreme, he is merely the most recent analyst to question Facebook’s place in various sectors of society.
In January, TG Dailyreported that a former Ph.D. student in Stanford’s psychology department took interest in the way his friends reacted after cruising Facebook. His research made a compelling argument that Facebook may be making some people unhappy.
So while Gulati doesn’t recommend quitting the social media site (drug?), he does recommend that people set aside a scheduled time to log onto Facebook. This should be balanced with at least one full day away from Facebook each week.
He also thinks people should consider deleting Facebook apps from mobile devices and trimming down their friends list to reflect actual relationships in the real world. All of this, he says, is to give people time to "strengthen real-world relationships."