Prediction: Social Media Will Make You Miserable

Status: Occurring

Prediction: Social Media is a misery machine

What kind of voyeuristic, Orwellian nightmare was this?? And, why were my ‘friends’ so damn old and frumpy?! Where were the celebrities, billionaires, and supermodels? Was I not the youthful, gregarious intellectual I thought I was? Surely, this was a mistake…

The 15 Faces of Facebook and What To Sell Them, Nov 2011

Oh, on Facebook are you? On LinkedIn? Did you know that your old high school acquaintance Jenny just got back from an amazing party? You weren’t invited. Have you heard Jerry, the kiss-ass who made your last job unbearable, just got a big promotion? Or that the girl you took on one date six years ago looks great in a bikini? Sure you do. You know it all. And it’s making you miserable.

We’re connected to more useless, peripheral people than ever. We’ll never see most of them in real life ever again. And prepare to die if you ever need one of them for anything real like a blood transfusion – or a ride to the airport. Still, they consume our time and our thoughts. And the aggregate effect of their carefully curatedonline personas and seemingly-perfect lives makes us feel like losers. Er, “unhappy”.

The Economics of Happiness, 2013

What Happened

Most unhappy people are unhappy for the exact same reason, Jan 2018

Teens who spent more than five hours a day online were twice as likely to be unhappy as those who spent less than an hour a day.

How heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness, May 2018

Youngsters report problems with anxiety, depression, sleep and “FoMO”
 

A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel 2017

Sorry, But Your Facebook Friends Don’t Care About You 2016

“Researchers said that social networks are in many ways ‘egocentric,’ and the connections people have with each other are loose at best. Ultimately, the researchers found that social networks do not improve friendships… Facebook and Twitter are not enough to “overcome” friendship issues; real friends require a deeper connection.’In practical terms, it may reflect the fact that real (as opposed to casual) relationships require at least occasional face-to-face interaction to maintain them,’ the study said.”

The Most American Thing There Is: Eating Alone 2015

“It’s almost rare now that a single diner will walk in without some type of device,” said Mark Politzer, Georgetown Four Seasons restaurant Bourbon Steak’s general manager told the Washington Post in 2011. “It’s really changed the experience for single diners. It’s less awkward for them, but they’re more engaged in work or whatever else they’re doing on their device than in having a conversation with us or focusing on the meal.”

Why Are British Kids So Unhappy? Two Words: Screen Time 2016

Facebook Makes You Miserable Podcast 2017

Have Americans Given Up? 2017

“Today’s algorithmic media, like Facebook, Pandora, and dating apps, specializes in offering users content that is “optimally new”—familiar, yet surprising. Cowen argues that these technologies wall off anything that is too novel, which feeds complacency.”

Social Notworking: Is Generation Smartphone Really More Prone to Unhappiness?

A study closely correlates device use with depression and suicide, but the link is contentious

Facebook’s greatest weapon: endless comparison of ourselves to others, Jan 2018

What’s Next?