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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Facebook users not as sexy and cool as you’d think

College students have mastered the art of scrolling through their Facebook News Feed faster than Busta Rhymes can utter the word “”status.”” It is almost sick how anxious we feel at the sight of the little red box with a double-digit number or a particular name under the “”Friends Online”” list. In fact, it is becoming a huge problem.

The anxious, butterflies-in-the-stomach, blood rush-to-the-head feeling some people experience from Facebook has turned into an up-and-coming epidemic: Facebook depression. The desperate attempts of some FB users to make their lives seem marvelous are actually bringing people down.

A Stanford University researcher examined people’s reactions after looking at other people’s attractive photos and cheerful status updates, and noticed that people felt unhappier after doing so. By overestimating how happy other people are, they felt unhappier about their own lives.

The study, which didn’t explicitly examine Facebook but would apply to social networking if its conclusions were accurate, found that the two groups most vulnerable to this are younger teen girls and housewives, but UA students need to be aware. Word of advice, if you are single, staring at your dream significant other’s “”in a relationship”” status will make you extremely prone to this diagnosis.

There is another side to this problem though: the instigators. Yeah, people use their small ounce of publicity via statuses and photo albums to make their lives seem as crazy, sexy and cool as possible. Word of advice, if you are actually crazy, sexy or cool, people are not going to be waiting for your next post, they will actually be hanging out with you.

Thankfully, the majority of the UA student body has the freedom to do as it pleases, seeing as (most of us) live without curfews and rules. This eliminates the many Friday and Saturday nights we used to spend scrolling up and down through our News Feed while grounded in high school. Being the extremely mature adolescent I now am, I can admit to being grounded several weekends, including junior year prom, when I may have been depressed by Facebook. “”Hummer limo to tha Ritz!”” was undeniably awful reading material for a hormonal teen stuck at home during prom weekend.

Facebook may be the only forum of expression some people have, but it should not be a place to deal with psychological tribulations. I know there’s nothing more satisfying than posting a status that you know will make your ex experience a hernia, but people should refrain from turning their frown upside down with a Prozac just because of dramatic posts.

The next time you are about to update the 800-1000 people who have access to your personal life, consider the vulnerable lurkers you may be putting at risk for Facebook depression. For the sake of humanity, we should be modest in how amazing we portray our lives to be.

 

— Caroline Nachazel is a sophomore studying journalism and communication. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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