Mention Facebook, and there is emotion. People love it, hate it, love it and hate it, are confused by it, afraid of it, addicted to it, depressed by it, and sick and tired of hearing about it (in that case read no further).
We sure do hear about Facebook every day don’t we? TV and radio programs tell us to visit and become a fan on Facebook – the Facebook logo, white f on blue background, is in print ads, websites, and TV commercials. Facebook is always in our faces.
We have two new social maladies thanks to Facebook - Facebook addiction and Facebook depression – both very real and recognized.
It is easy to understand our Facebook addiction, despite our privacy concerns over using it. We receive a lot of positive reinforcement – our friends “like” our posts, or pictures, and make comments on them. Furthermore, the reinforcement is intermittent which creates the greatest habit for the behavior. Most of us know someone who seems to live on Facebook. Do you find yourself checking Facebook multiple times a day?
Facebook depression is prevalent among teens and young adults. It is easy to believe that everyone else’s life looks much more exciting and fun than yours when browsing friend’s photos and updates. Picture the teen at home whose friends are posting pics of the party while it is happening and that teen didn’t get an invite.
It is not all doom and gloom. On the upside, a study last year from the University of Maryland documented the positive effect Facebook has had on our economy, by creating U.S. jobs not only at Facebook but at companies which build applications and websites which integrate with Facebook. There have been some critics of this study as it fails to mention loss of employee productivity and job loss due to Facebook.
Despite our feelings about Facebook, one can’t help but be amazed at its impact on culture and business worldwide. So, how do you feel about Facebook? I would love to hear from you.