Ideas/Current Events February 2012: Miserable Facebook

The psychology article about overestimating how happy others were, and thinking that themselves were very lonely is very interesting to read. It tells us in depth that people ONLY post good and happy things about their lives on Facebook so that no one knows their negative experiences, and that they seem “cooler”. Others who usually have some negative things  think that they are the only ones that have negative emotions think that they are the only ones that are experiencing negative emotions, which makes them feel more miserable. Alex Jordan researches this misery by asking and questioning students who are Facebook users. In one of his studies, he asked “80 freshmen to report whether they or one of their peers had recently experienced various negatine and positive emotional events.”

He summarizes that since we only post positive things, usually to seem “cool”, we underestimate how many negative experiences others have, because they do not want to show it. It is our misunderstanding to believe that the posts are all ove the events in one’s life, but there are negative emotions too. We are not the only one that has negative emotions, because no one is 100% happy. This comes to Jordan’s point that we also sometimes overestimate how happy one is, and feeling:

“Crummy about themselves after logging in onto the site and scrolling through other’s attractive photos, accomplished bios,

That is how most users feel by under and over estimating.

“They were convinced that everyone else was leading a perfect life. ”

Jordan told the writer.

A teenager told a MIT professor, Sherry Turkle, who wrote the book Alone Together, “Facebook is like being in a play.  You make a character…” Turkle writes about users constantly changing their status for maximum “cool”, because of thinking others leading “cooler” lives when they are not. The article tells us our misunderstanding of other stats, and that no one is 100% happy. We all have out negatives, but don’t want to show it.

I think that the article is a good “healer” when it comes to our loneliness. I am amazed that we do not realize that others also had bad things because they always post positive to make them sound cooler. It tells us that we all have negative experiences, like “had a distressing fight”, and that we should not be afraid to show it. I can connect this to my own experiences because I never put distressing things on my blog or status on G-mail. I think that this is also amazing that Jordan questioned over 400 students to show that Facebook (and others like Twitter) are one of the places where depression comes from. I think that we should not bother about other’s comments as much and enjoy life.





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One Response to Ideas/Current Events February 2012: Miserable Facebook

  1. Denby says:

    Wow, Daiki. This is incredibly thorough. You ‘know’ the article very well and your response is interesting.

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