Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Let's Break the Internet ... Together!

Break the internet by creating a more positive Facebook world.
Let's break the internet! (Pixabay)

MUSINGS

A new study has come out that seems to confirm that the more you use Facebook the worse you will feel reports Harvard Business Review. While that shouldn't really be much of a surprise to anyone, it is surprising how many of us continue to fall into this trap on a daily basis. According to Facebook, the average user spends about an hour on the website a day.

Holly B. Shakya and Nicholas A. Christakis, who wrote the article, state this about the study: "Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being. These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction." They later went on to say that "although we can show that Facebook use seems to lead to diminished well-being, we cannot definitively say how that occurs."

In some ways, Facebook and other social media sites have brought out the worst in people and Christians are not immune to it. Social media has given us "permission" to brag, chastise and gossip. Many people will say things on the internet that they would never say in person. I'm tired of feeling that I'm not good enough. How about you?

Now, I use Facebook as much as the rest of you and I use it often to let people know when I have posted new articles on my website, so I don't plan on jumping ship just yet. But this article got me thinking. What if we were to create the opposite environment? One where people would post less-than-flattering selfies or report on the boring and mundane things that they did that day instead of only highlighting their great achievements. One that didn't show celebrities trying to stay relevant by taking their clothes off. Is anyone else tired of hearing how smart, pretty and well-behaved other people's children are? And seriously, if I see another "How can you call yourself a Christian..." type post, I'll scream. Can't we be nice?

So who's with me? Who is ready to break the internet with less-than-stellar normalcy? Who in for making Facebook a place of encouragement rather than a warped mirror of real life? I'll start by posting an unflattering selfie with my cat. Visit the Writer of Pop Facebook page to see it and add your own comments, photos and what not. Let's do this!

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